It seems that every day brings another bad news story about the NHS, writes Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Ipswich, David Ellesmere. I’m finding more and more people mentioning it on the doorstep, genuinely worried about the state it’s in and what it will be like in the future.
So I was very pleased to see Labour announce more detail of their 10 year plan for the NHS.
A Labour Government would first and foremost invest in more staff: 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more GPs, 3,000 more midwives and 5,000 new homecare workers, paid for by a mansion tax, cracking down on tax avoidance and a levy on tobacco firms.
It would bring physical, mental and social care together in a single service to treat the whole person.The scandal of 15-minute care slots would be ended by incentivising providers to keep people healthy, independent and out of hospital.
There would be new rights to access care so everyone would be guaranteed a GP appointment in 48 hours and on the same day if they need it. Cancer test results would be guaranteed within a week. This will help ease the pressure on A&Es.
I’m particularly pleased to see a commitment to ending the neglect of mental health. Always the cinderella service, mental health trusts have had their funding cut even further under this Government, with the inevitable consequences.
Labour would try to prevent ill health in the first place by limiting he marketing of unhealthy food to children, cracking down on super strength alcohol like we have done in Ipswich and ensuring all children are guaranteed a minimum of two hours PE a week.
A Labour Government would also scrap this Government’s privatisation laws which are causing huge waste and fragmentation in the NHS.
No one is saying all the problems in the NHS can be fixed over night. This is a long term plan.
But it gives us confidence that we can have a better NHS.
We don’t have to put up with the NHS we have now. And we certainly don’t have to put up with the NHS there would be after five more years of the Tories.