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MP Norman Lamb vows to fight for NHS after stroke scare

PUBLISHED: 00:00 13 April 2018

Norman Lamb. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Archive

Norman Lamb. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Archive

PA Archive/PA Images

MP Norman Lamb has vowed to redouble his efforts to get more money for the NHS after experiencing the service at first hand when he suffered a stroke.

On March 28 the North Norfolk MP awoke in his London flat suffering from debilitating double vision. It was so bad he could not even find his wife Mary’s number on his phone.

After going to A and E at Guys and St Thomas Hospital he was referred to the eye clinic but it soon became clear something more serious had happened.

Fortunately Mr Lamb, 60, has made a fully recovery and is aiming to return to work in Westminster as early as next week although he has vowed to “work smarter” and get more sleep.

And now Mr Lamb – who has long campaigned for more cash for the NHS even suggesting a dedicated, ring-fence tax for health service – has spoken about why his “life-changing” experience has made him more determined than ever to push for reform.

“I want to be there for people,” he said. “As an MP you have the chance to help people who face awful challenges in their lives. I want to make sure when there is someone waiting interminably for an operation, when a family has waited three years for a diagnosis for their autistic child ... I can help. I don’t want to stand back. I want to intervene, that is what I see my job as.

“After this scare I have to do that in a different way but I can still do it.

“When this happened to me I was close to a hospital, I could get in a taxi and I get seen and get help.

“I am conscious that the way the NHS is at the moment there are people in the East who suffer strokes and other very serious conditions who are not so lucky.

“I think this brings home to me that what I have been fighting for is worth it. We cannot justify the fact that for too many people it is a lottery as to what happens when you need help because of ambulance delays, crews stacked up outside hospitals and overloaded A and E departments.

“I am horrified by the thought that I or a loved one could be in the situation where you are just waiting too long and more damage is done. We should not tolerate this state of affairs. I am determined to get a new settlement for the NHS and care system.”

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