NHS and care
Labour will end cuts and privatization in health and social care. We will rebuild and join up health and care for modern, accessible, public and community-oriented services.
Rebuilding our NHS
Labour will deliver a massive £26bn NHS rescue plan to provide quality health and care, recruit thousands of staff, rebuild facilities and offer modern equipment. Labour will scrap prescription charges in England and create a publicly owned drugs manufacturer to supply cheaper medicines to the NHS.
Our NHS in crisis
Tory austerity and privatization has squeezed NHS resources while demands on the service are increasing.
- Life expectancy is going backwards for the poorest; health inequalities are getting wider and infant mortality rates are increasing.
- Public health cuts have caused 130,000 preventable deaths since 2012. Public health budgets have shrunk in eight out of ten councils in the UK.
- Economic inequality is costing the NHS £4.8 billion a year in more hospitalisations.
- Hospital resources have been squeezed. Beds and equipment are consistently below European averages.
- Hospitals are understaffed of doctors and nurses. The UK has one of the lowest levels of doctors per head of population in Europe.
- The Tories have scrapped nurses’ bursaries, preventing nurses from entering the profession. Overworked NHS staff suffer stress and burnout and many are leaving the profession.
- Tory cuts have sent the NHS into decline. Performance are being missed month after month. In August this year, there were 4.41m people on the waiting list in England – the highest on record. This waiting time target hasn’t been met since February 2016.
- Waiting lists for NHS treatment are at their highest on record. Last year, there were 2.9m people waiting longer than four hours in A&E and the four-hour waiting time target hasn’t been met since 2015. The 62-day cancer waiting time target also hasn’t been met since 2015.
- Dental charges put people off from going to their dentist, and actively undermines prevention – nearly 1 in 5 patients delay going to the dentist because they can’t afford to see one.
- Expansion of internal markets in the NHS has led to a third of contracts being awarded by private sectors. Millions of pounds have been wasted on failed contracts.
- Pharmaceutical companies set high prices and deliver short-term returns to shareholders, rather than focus on patient access. People are dying because pharmaceutical companies will not make life-saving drugs available at prices the NHS can afford.
- The Johnson-Trump post-Brexit trade deal threatens to sell off our NHS. The voluntary pricing and access scheme (VPAS), which caps the NHS bill for medicines, is threatened by US determination to provide full market access for US big pharmaceutical companies. Drugs prices could skyrocket from 18 to 45 billion a year.
Reverse privatisation in the NHS and build a pubic, comprehensive and universal healthcare system.
- Boost NHS spending by 4.3% per year – for school counselling services, community mental health hubs for young people, investment in community services for severe mental illnesses, high quality liaison and 24/7 crisis care for people living with poor mental health.
- Repeal the Health and Social Care Act, which drove NHS privatisation, and end the requirement on health authorities to put services out to competitive tender, as well as ensuring services are delivered in-house.
- £2bn to modernise hospital facilities.
- £1.5bn funding for new CT and MRI scanners.
- £450m for free NHS dental check-ups for everyone in England, giving everyone a free teeth MOT with their dentist.
- Create a publicly owned pharmaceutical company to manufacture generics to sell to the NHS at affordable and accessible prices, and prioritise public interest conditions in research and development.
- £1.6 billion extra NHS mental health funding; £2 billion to modernise hospital facilities to treat mental health patients.
- Invest in training for NHS staff throughout their careers. Provide training bursary for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals.
- Ensure that all parts of the NHS are fully protected in any international trade deals.
Labour will create a comprehensive National Care Service providing care for people, not profit. We will introduce free personal care for older people, support local authorities to directly provide care and support care workers with a higher allowance, training and decent conditions.
The crisis in care
Tories have driven social care into crisis. Their inaction on social care is letting down people who need care. This is an urgent crisis and we are the only people setting out a plan to deal with it.
- Nearly £8bn in cuts from council budgets for social care since 2010. The result is one million people not getting the care they need.
- Nine years of cuts to local council budgets have pushed care services to the brink. The Tories have failed to bring in much-needed reform, leaving too many people and their families struggling to afford the care they need.
- 87 people are dying every day waiting for care.
- 1.4 million older people are going without the care they need.
- More than five million unpaid carers looking after loved ones.
- Overworked, underpaid care workers only have ten minutes for their visits.
- Provide community-based, person-centred support, underpinned by the principles of ethical care and independent living.
- Aim to provide free care for all working-age adults.
- Cap on personal contributions to care costs.
- Invest to end the social care crisis, end 15-minute care visits and provide care workers with paid travel time, access to training and an option to choose regular hours.
- Increase the Carer’s Allowance for unpaid full-time carers.
- Ethical care delivery ensuring growing public sector provision and that providers meet standards of transparency, compliance and profit capping.
Labour’s Manifesto: Bitesized
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