Labour will build an NHS with the time to care: 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs. Join up services from home to hospital, guaranteeing GP appointments within 48 hours and cancer tests within one week.
That was the NHS pledge given by Ed Miliband today at a meeting in Sale, Greater Manchester.
He warned that our NHS, one of Britain’s most precious institutions, faces “its most perilous moment” when voters go to the polls at a General Election 100 days from now.
The next Labour government must rescue the health service from a Tory plan that has already caused crisis over the past five years - and now, if the Conservatives win a second term, threatens to leave it unrecognisable.
Ed was speaking as Andy Burnham revealed Labour’s 10-year plan for the NHS - a blueprint to raise standards of care and ensure the health service is sustainable in the 21st century.
The next Labour government will restore the right values to the NHS, making strategic investments in staff, and delivering reforms that will improve services and save billions of pounds.
These include integrating care, placing a new emphasis on prevention, and ensuring better access to services - so patients do not end up in hospital unless they need it.
Labour is determined to drive out the culture of limiting social care at home for frail, older and vulnerable to just 15 minutes. It is a symbol of what has gone wrong in the NHS where failure and false economies threaten the financial future of the service.
Labour’s 10-Year Plan will:
- Invest in staff so the NHS has time to care
- Integrate care from home to hospital
- Give patients’ new rights to access care
- End the neglect of mental health
- Prevent ill-health
- Restore the right values on to the NHS
False economies in social care have increased pressure on NHS funding with the number of avoidable hospital admissions soaring last year to a record high of more than half a million - costing the NHS around £1 billion.
Labour’s plan to integrate services from home to hospital will help end 15-minute care slots through new year-of-care budgets, incentivising providers to improve social care and prevent vulnerable patients falling ill or injuring themselves.
The next Labour government will create a new arm of the NHS: 5,000 homecare workers within the NHS to help those with the greatest needs, including the terminally ill so they can stay with their family at the end of life, and those who are leaving hospital who need extra help if they are to move back into their homes.
All vulnerable older people will be offered a safety check to identify risks to their health like cold homes, loneliness and the likelihood of them falling, so that problems can be tackled and they avoid unnecessary hospital visits.
Labour’s NHS general election pledge follows the election pledges on immigration and the economy:
1. ‘We will build a strong economic foundation and balance the books.’
2. ‘We will control immigration with fair rules. People who come here won’t be able to claim benefits for at least two years. And we will make it illegal for employers to undercut wages by exploiting workers.’