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Meeting our future health challenges

Save our NHS, nurse image by Chris MillettThe NHS will be at the heart and soul of Labour’s General Election campaign. We have lost five years, as the Coalition’s top down reorganisation has left the NHS unprepared to meet the health challenges of the 21st Century.

The current NHS crisis is rooted in the Government’s decisions to make cuts to adult social care, abolish NHS Direct, they have closed almost one in four walk-in centres, and their reckless reorganisation diverted resources away from frontline services. In these circumstances patients have little option but to present at A&E when the government reduce access to and the number of primary care services. The current A&E crisis is a warning that there are failures elsewhere within the health system.

The Coalition Government do not acknowledge there is a crisis, however, every week thousands of patients are unable to get an appointment with their GP, they are being denied access to treatment, or they are left waiting in A&E, which is being stretched to breaking point.

However, there is an alternative and Labour will build an NHS with time to care. Through fairer taxes on properties worth over £2 million, on hedge funds, and on tobacco companies Labour will train and recruit 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs. As we did through the creation of the NHS, and when we saved the NHS in 1997 after 18 years of Tory neglect and negligence, it will fall again to Labour to transform our health services and make them ready for the new health challenges we face in the 21st Century.

The Government claim to have protected NHS spending. However, they have ‘achieved’ this through making false economies and cuts in social care have led to increased pressure on the NHS. Last year the number of avoidable hospital admissions soared to a record high of more than half a million, costing the NHS around £1 billion. This is simply unsustainable and the Government are failing to address the underlying causes putting pressure on our NHS.

Labour’s NHS blueprint calls for an integrated home to hospital service, backed by a new arm of the NHS, 5000 homecare workers within the NHS to help those in greatest need, supporting vulnerable adults leaving hospital who need extra help to move back into their home. The new homecare workers will also support the terminally ill so they can stay with their family at the end of life.

A new focus on prevention will see providers rewarded for preventing vulnerable people falling ill or injuring themselves, and a new social care safety check will be offered to all vulnerable older people to identify risks to their health like cold homes, loneliness and risk of falls in order to tackle and avoid unnecessary hospital visits that will also improve the quality of life for older and vulnerable adults.

Labour have offered a real alternative in contrast to the malaise offered by the Government. It is only through transforming the NHS, with a focus on prevention, the integration of social and health care that we can have a National Health and Social Care Service fit enough to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.


  1. Robert says:

    In England You keep on falling for the same thing you would not think that the NHS is devolved because labour wants to be seen as running the whole of the NHS your not you can only talk about England. Wales does not have walk in centers and I do not think Scotland has either we do not have the same privatisation that labour brought in.

    Welsh labour have said any money coming from the Mansion tax will be directed as it sees fit and may not be used on the NHS.

    The issue here is spin and PR again we are back to the old Campbell ideology again no shock that he is back in labour, the bloke who did the dossiers for Blair is back within labour again, you cannot devolve something and then try to make out Miliband is in charge he is not or does it mean that all the Assembly does is Miliband thinking or bidding, if so we had better look at what these Assemblers are for it may be better to get rid of them.

    Plus of course the Kinds fund has stated that labour is the party of privatisation not the Tories which is pretty damning although I’m sure the Tories would have got around to it but they have not yet.

    Labour blue print may be like all other blue prints and blow up in people faces we need to have less messing around in the running of the NHS by politicians and more by the people who work in it doctors nurses and patients and less politicians and spin.

    One has to take a long hard look at Wales and how politician are spinning that one, Ambulances left waiting for hours out side of hospital waiting for beds then we are told ambulances services are struggling well yes with half of your ambulances being used to hold patients in waiting while beds are found means of course 50% of ambulances were not available.

    The NHS is a political football and sadly the ball went out of touch many years ago all it is now are two teams kicking the stuffing out of each other, we are lucky that the NHS is still with us even after Blair Brown and Cameron .

  2. Jon Williams says:

    I’d rather Labour run the NHS than the Tories…

    1. Robert says:

      What the difference labour tried to flog it off they sold more then the Tories have now.

      That is the problem is it not we do not have a labour party any more just people trying to win elections.

      Labour is the party of the workers look it’s in our name, Reeves speaking two weeks ago, the lady who has Thors hammer to hammer down on those people like me.

      Sorry but 13 years of a labour party which was willing to sell the NHS, the Post office, Air Traffic control, The CSA , the Royal Mint.

      Today we do not have so much a labour movement as we do Progress.

  3. Rod says:

    Labour are not to be trusted as custodians of the NHS.

    New Labour was a enthusiastic privatiser of the NHS. Progress lobbied for further NHS privatisation. Both Brown and Blair, as PM and Chancellor, refused to accept any alternative to NHS privatisation.

    Many Progress figures now hold senior positions in the shadow cabinet.

    And only a few days ago on Newsnight Andy Burnham (who as Health Secreatary had placed the NHS within the international healthcare market with his NHS Global) admitted there should be a role for the private sector within the NHS but declined to set a limit to that role.

    A vote for Labour will not be a vote for a publicly-owned, accountable NHS.

  4. Jon Williams says:

    Yes Labour’s recent Government NHS record isn’t great, but moving forward Andy Burnham has promised to repeal H&SC Act 2012 plus the internal market/make NHS preferred provider.

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