Sadik Al-Hassan — who is an award-winning pharmacist — pledged action to tackle issues such as long waiting times for GP and hospital appointments, ambulance delays, and NHS dentistry shortages after working in Portishead’s West Hill pharmacy on Thursday (20 June) with local health champion Max and their amazing team.

Sadik Al-Hassan with Max Punni, Pharmacist, at West Hill Pharmacy. Photo credit: Ken Abbott Photography.
Sadik Al-Hassan with Max Punni, Pharmacist, at West Hill Pharmacy. Photo credit: Ken Abbott Photography.

“Under 14 years of Tory misrule, things have only got worse when it comes to healthcare in North Somerset,” Sadik said. “We’ve got longer waiting lists for hospital treatment and GP appointments, longer waiting times in A&E, longer waiting times for ambulances, a dearth of NHS dentists, and fewer pharmacies to help, all while more and more vital parts of our cherished NHS are privatised.”

“Labour has a positive plan to build an NHS fit for the future,” Sadik added. “The party that created the NHS will cut waiting times with 40,000 more appointments every week, double the number of cancer scanners, hire 8,500 additional mental health staff, and ensure the return of the family doctor.”

“As a local pharmacist I have been privileged to work in some of North Somerset’s brilliant pharmacies— including the two Day Lewis pharmacies in Nailsea and the West Hill pharmacy in Portishead — so I know how hard it is on the NHS front line,” Sadik said.

“Pharmacies like those in Nailsea, Clevedon, and Portishead with their amazing teams are being asked to deliver more services but the funding doesn’t work to support them, putting this vital community service at risk. This awful funding squeeze by the Conservative government is why we are losing pharmacies from our high streets,” Sadik explained.

Statistics show that North Somerset is being hit particularly hard, with the area’s healthcare services failing to meet key targets for ambulance arrivals, ambulance handovers, A&E waiting times, hospital beds, GP appointments, cancer treatment, and diagnostic tests. (sources: and

“Only this week, the BBC told how a family in North Somerset has been unable to see an NHS dentist since the Covid pandemic,” Sadik said. “It would cost them £40 a month to go private – and that’s just for one appointment a year and before any dental work. Even worse is 1 in 10 try their own risky DIY dentistry due to the lack of NHS dental services.”

“Knocking on doors in North Somerset over the past months I’ve heard similar stories, particularly of children suffering with poor dental health due to a lack of NHS dentistry services in our area,” Sadik added.

Labour’s Dentistry Rescue Plan aims to provide some 700,000 extra NHS appointments a year and to ensure that people are seen by a dentist when they need it.

Sadik also said “Similarly, seeing a GP has become a challenge with so many of us knowing the 8am horror of trying to call a surgery. I’m glad Labour has a plan to end the 8am scramble by training more doctors and updating the NHS app to make appointments easier to book and rearrange.”

“It’s time for a new approach to healthcare in North Somerset — one where vital services are properly staffed and properly funded and more services are delivered in local communities,” Sadik added. “On 4 July voters can help to end the scandal of late diagnosis and late treatment and help to build a healthier life for us all.”

  • Sadik Al-Hassan with Richard Brown (L), Avon Local Pharmaceutical Committee, and Max Punni (R), Pharmacist at West Hill Pharmacy.
  • Sadik Al-Hassan working at West Hill Pharmacy.
  • Sadik Al-Hassan working at West Hill Pharmacy.
    Link to Instagram Link to Twitter Link to YouTube Link to Facebook Link to LinkedIn Link to Snapchat Close Fax Website Location Phone Email Calendar Building Search