The NHS, one of our great national institutions and one of Labour’s proudest achievements, faces its greatest threat for a generation.
The Conservatives’ chaotic reorganisation wasted £3 billion and has damaged patient care. Waiting lists continue to rise as budgets are squeezed and more hospitals fall into deficit. There is a crisis in A&E, not just in winter but all year round. Vital treatments are being rationed, giving patients the choice of waiting longer or paying to go private. Millions of people can’t get a GP appointment when they need one after the 48 hour guarantee was scrapped.
Labour will rescue our NHS, invest in its future and join up services from home to hospital.
Here’s how we will make sure our NHS has the time to care for you and your family:
We will tackle long waits and staff shortages, and put patients first
- We will recruit 8,000 more GPs and 20,000 more nurses so we can provide what patients need most: an NHS with time to care.
- We will pay for this much-needed investment through a Mansion Tax on properties worth more than £2 million, tackling tax avoidance and a levy on tobacco companies.
- We will guarantee a GP appointment within 48 hours, and on the same day for those who need it, to end the scandal of patients having to wait days, even weeks, for a GP appointment.
- We will guarantee that patients wait no longer than one week for vital cancer tests and results by 2020. We will also create a Cancer Treatments Fund so patients have access to the latest drugs, surgery and radiotherapy.
- We will repeal the Tories’ Health and Social Care Act to put the right values back at the heart of the health service: co-operation and collaboration, not competition and privatisation.
- We will stop the drive towards privatisation, and where private companies are involved in providing clinical services we will cap their profits to ensure resources are spent on patient care.
We will create a 21st-century health & care service
- We will integrate health & care services into a seamless system of whole-person care. This will bring together three fragmented services into a single service to meet all of a person’s care needs — physical, mental and social.
- We will make sure vulnerable older people, disabled people and those with complex needs get a single point of contact for their care and a personal care plan, designed with them and shaped around their needs.
- We will radically improve mental health support, especially for young people, by prioritising new investment in under 18s and ensuring teachers have training so they can identify problems early and link children up with support.
- We will guarantee every woman personalised, one-to-one care from a midwife during labour and childbirth by recruiting 3,000 more midwives.
- We will give mental health the same priority as physical health. People will have the same right to psychological therapies as they currently have to drugs and medical treatments.
- We will set out a strategy to ensure that the great majority of patients can access talking therapies within 28 days, and that all children can access school-based counselling if they need it.
- We will prioritise action to improve care quality and patient safety. Our 20,000 extra nurses will help ensure safe staffing, while we want every hospital death to be subject to an appropriate level of review.
- We will tackle the marketing of unhealthy food to children, including setting maximum permitted levels of sugar, salt and fat in foods marketed substantially to children.
Our local NHS is a key priority for Louise
Photo: Labour’s Andy Burnham visited Eaglescliffe Medical Centre with Louise to talk about his plans for appointment waiting times and to hear from GPs about succession planning, recruitment, training and funding, and from patients about their local waiting time experiences.
In her local manifesto Louise says:
GP appointment waiting times are a particular problem locally. My constituency wide health survey showed the majority of patients are regularly waiting 3 weeks to see their Doctor. Labour will bring back the 48 hour guarantee nationally and I will work with local practices and the Health and Wellbeing Board to help drive down waiting times.
At 50 years old, North Tees hospital is undoubtedly in need of investment. If it is shown that it cannot be upgraded and if a new hospital must be built I will be backing a consultation with local people about where it should be. Wynyard has thankfully been ruled out – the land has since gone – and I will be fighting for any new hospital to be built in Stockton.
You can read Louise's submission to the consultation on the future of services at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust here.