Labour parliamentary candidates across Hertfordshire have pledged their support for a National Care Service.

The commitment, which would be delivered under a future Labour government if the party wins the next General Election, was made during an event at the House of Commons.

Candidates joined Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Wes Streeting, Shadow Social Care Minister, Andrew Gwynne and Christina McAnea, general secretary of UNISON to back the plan.

Supporting the initiative are Labour parliamentary candidates Matt Turmaine, Watford, Kevin Bonavia, Stevenage, Andrew Lewin, Welwyn Hatfield, David Taylor, Hemel Hempstead, and Alistair Strathern, MP for Mid-Bedfordshire.

Matt Turmaine, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Watford, said: "The country is crying out for a National Care Service, like the National Health Service, to deliver the care residents in Hertfordshire need now and will do in the future as part of an ageing population."

David Taylor, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Hemel Hempstead, highlighted the pressing issues of the current social care sector during the launch last week.

He said: "We have pledged to deliver a National Care Service that gives access to quality care for all those who need it.

"The social care sector suffers from recruitment and retention problems and can force people to wipe out their life savings to pay for care."

Ms McAnea, UNISON’s general secretary, stressed the importance of parity between both systems, stating: "We need a national care service – like the NHS.

"Care workers need parity of esteem with their colleagues in the health service. We’ve seen how the two systems are completely intertwined – if one fails, so will the other.

"Social care can no longer be treated as the forgotten front line."

An estimated 35,000 people are working in adult social care across Hertfordshire's local authority and independent sectors.

Alistair Strathern, MP for Mid-Bedfordshire, said: "For too long families across the country have had to experience the brutal realities of a care system that just isn’t working.

"We need a National Care Service to finally get care working for those who need it."