Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour’s Shadow Health and Social Care Secretary, responding to proposals in the NHS Long Term Plan, said “The fact NHS bosses are now proposing significant changes to the Health and Social Care Act confirms what a wasteful, bureaucratic disaster it was in the first place.
“Labour has long called for this Act to be binned and will study legislative proposals carefully. The Tories must apologise for wasting billions of taxpayers’ money on the privatisation, constant tendering of contracts, top-down reorganisation and demoralisation of staff this Tory Act ushered in.
“The Tories have spent nine years running down the NHS, imposing the biggest cash squeeze in its history, with swingeing cuts to public health services and the slashing of social care services. They have failed to recruit and train the staff desperately needed, leaving our NHS struggling with shortages of over 100,000 staff.
“What’s more, it’s a damning indictment of the impact of Tory austerity, cuts to public services and rising poverty that the NHS today admitted that socioeconomic inequality causes £4.8 billion a year in greater numbers of hospitalisations.
“While the aspirations for improving patient care NHS England has outlined today are welcome, the reality is the NHS will continue to be held back by cuts and chronic staff shortages. Labour will give the NHS the funding it needs to provide quality care and recruit the staff for the future.”
Tories have spent 9 years running down the NHS
“The Tories have spent nine years running down the NHS, imposing the biggest cash squeeze in its history, swingeing cuts to public health services and slashing social care services. They have failed to recruit and train the staff desperately needed leaving our NHS struggling with chronic shortages of over 100,000 staff." Jonathan Ashworth said “They forced through a disastrous, wasteful reorganisation no one wanted and wasted billions of taxpayers’ cash on poor quality private health firms as part of their obsession with privatisation.
“Almost nine years of austerity, cuts and privatisation has meant millions waiting longer for treatment or stranded – often on trolleys – in crowded A&Es.
“Almost nine years of Tory mismanagement has meant over 150,000 cancer patients waiting over two months for life saving treatment since July 2011, and mental health services especially for children and young people neglected and in many areas cut back.
“And now the Tories say they need 10 years to clear up the mess they have made.
“The NHS needs a credible fully funded plan for the future, not a wish list to help Theresa May get through the coming months.
“The NHS needs a funding settlement to provide the quality care patients deserve, not the ‘stand still’ budget experts agree isn’t enough, that was announced last June.
“Labour in government will give the NHS the funding it needs, tackle the recruitment crisis and provide a clear plan to reduce waiting lists, restoring the standards of care patients expect and deserve as outlined in the NHS Constitution.”