LABOUR has announced a £26bn real terms Rescue Plan to deliver ‘real change in our health service’.
The Labour Party is pledging to end the Tory NHS crisis with a £26bn real terms healthcare funding boost to provide safe, quality care, recruit the thousands of staff needed, rebuild crumbling facilities and provide modern state-of-the-art equipment.
This is over £6bn in real terms more than the funding announced by the Tories last year.
Unveiling the plan in a speech at 1 Wimpole Street, the home of The Royal Society of Medicine, Jonathan Ashworth and John McDonnell announced an annual average 4.3 per cent funding increase for health spending over the next four years, funded from Labour’s proposals to reverse corporation tax cuts and taxing the richest in society.
The rescue plan includes NHS capital expenditure rising to the international average, £1 billion a year training and education budgets and £1 billion more to fund a major expansion of public health services, with a focused drive on prevention measures to stop people getting sick as part of Labour’s mission to tackle health inequalities and prioritise children’s health and wellbeing.
The funding plan comes as experts warn the NHS is heading into one of the worst winters ever with hospitals already reporting ‘black alerts’ with heart-breaking scenes of patients, often elderly, languishing on trolleys.
John McDonnell said: ‘The world-class health service we all need and depend on needs proper funding.
‘Labour’s policies to tax the richest in society and invest for the future through our Social Transformation Fund mean we will be able to improve millions of lives.
‘And ending privatisation means that money can be spent on healthcare rather than dividends for Boris Johnson’s friends in the private healthcare industry.’
Ashworth added: ‘A decade of Tory underfunding and cuts has driven our NHS into year-round crisis. Over 15,000 beds have been cut, hospitals are crumbling and our NHS is chronically short of nurses and family doctors …
‘With experts warning this winter is set to be one of the worst, the truth is our NHS is crying out for a financial rescue plan to deliver real change for patients.
He concluded: ‘This general election is about millions on waiting lists and hundreds of thousands who’ve waited on trolleys under the Tories – only Labour has a plan to rescue our NHS.’
To rebuild the NHS, Labour’s NHS Rescue Plan will:
- Increase NHS capital budgets by £15 billion over a parliament to rebuild NHS hospitals and community facilities and clear the maintenance backlog, funded from Labour’s Social Transformation Fund;
- Provide a new £2 billion strategic mental health infrastructure fund to abolish dormitory wards and make every inpatient setting safe for patients; invest in more beds to end out of area placements and roll out a fleet of crisis ambulances;
- Invest an extra £2.5 billion to overhaul the primary care estate so that GPs can deliver better local care in their communities;
- Provide an extra £1.5 billion to increase the numbers of CT and MRI scanners to the OECD average to radically improve diagnostic capacity and improve cancer outcomes;
- Invest £1 billion in restoring a training bursary for nurses and Continuing Professional Development to help recruit 24,000 extra nurses as well as extra midwives and allied health professionals;
• Expand GP training places to 5000 to create 27 million more appointments with family doctors.