Keir Starmer and Wes Streeting speaking with lab technicians

Get the NHS back on its feet

It’s time for change.

The NHS is on its knees. In fact, some would say it’s face down and taking a good kicking from the Tories. We have to get it back on its feet.

The NHS waiting list is now at almost 8 million. Ambulances don’t come when you need them.

The 8am scramble for a GP appointment is the final straw for many patients. Dentistry is in crisis with tooth decay the number one cause of hospital admissions among children aged between six and ten years old.

Waiting times for cancer patients have got worse every year since the Conservatives came to power in 2010. Around, 500,000 suspected cancer patients waited longer than the recommended two weeks to see a specialist after being referred by their GP. Equally the waiting list for community mental health care in England hit 1.2 million last year.

More on our mission to get the NHS back on its feet:

Child Health Action Plan

Labour's Child Health Action Plan will create the healthiest generation of children ever

More here
Keir Starmer sat at a table with a child

Are you an NHS staff member? We want to work with you to deliver a Labour Government so we can make this plan a reality.

The Tories have failed.

The cause is sticking plaster politics – patchwork reforms and a failure to modernise a service that was created 75 years ago. The whole system is geared towards late-stage diagnosis and treatment, which delivers poorer outcomes at greater cost.

The Tories have not harnessed the latest technology to make it more responsive to the needs of patients. It’s not good enough that patient records still go missing, that appointment letters come too late, that the benefits of online services and the NHS app are not being used to speed up treatment and put the patient more in control.

Change can’t come soon enough.

Watch Labour’s mission to build an
NHS fit for the future:

Healthcare experts react to Keir Starmer
and Wes Streeting’s speech:

Labour has changed.

Labour will always defend the founding principles of the NHS as a publicly funded public service, free at the point of use.

But we need to be frank. The NHS is no longer the envy of the world. We say that not to undermine it, but to reassure people that we’ve noticed. We can’t just place the NHS on a pedestal, reminding people that Labour created the NHS and that we’ll always defend it. That would keep the NHS on life support and do nothing to help patients.

If we are to truly get the NHS back on its feet, we need to reform it. Yes, investment is needed, but pouring ever-increasing amounts of money into a system that isn’t working is wasteful in every sense. The message of modernise or die is not a threat but a choice

Labour will be the government that finally transforms our NHS to make it a service fit for today.

Labour has a long term plan to get the NHS back on its feet

As an immediate priority, Labour will grip the biggest crisis in the history of the NHS, tackling the massive waiting list backlog. We will do this by getting the basics right and then undertaking the long term reforms to make sure the NHS is fit for the future.

The last Labour government rebuilt the NHS and slashed waiting times, so we have a track record of success.

It’s time to rebuild the NHS.

Labour’s plan to get the NHS back on its feet

Ending unacceptable waits. Labour has a plan to drive down waiting times and get patients diagnosed earlier – with an extra 2 million operations, scans, and appointments in the first year. We will pay NHS staff properly for overtime to work evening and weekend shifts to bust the backlog – paid for by abolishing non-dom tax loophole for the very wealthy.

Dentistry Rescue Plan. Labour will deliver a Dentistry Rescue Plan to provide 700,000 extra appointments each year. We will introduce a targeted recruitment fund to get more dentists into the communities that need them most. And we will reform the NHS dentistry contract so that everyone who needs an NHS dentist can get one. All paid for by abolishing the non-dom loophole.

A Neighbourhood Health Service. At the heart of Labour’s reforms will be a plan to move care closer to communities. The NHS must become a Neighbourhood Health Service as much as a National Health Service – supported by cutting edge treatment and technology, to prevent illness. We will trial Neighbourhood Health Centres bringing together family doctors, district nurses, care workers, physiotherapists, and mental health specialists under one roof.

Technology and early diagnosis. Labour’s ‘Fit For The Future Fund’ will double the number of state-of-the-art CT and MRI scanners to ensure early diagnosis. We will put technology at a patients’ fingertips so they can take control of their own medicine, appointments and health needs.

At home tests for kidney disease that can send results to your smartphone; AI used to diagnose cancer from scans because we know it saves money and helps reduce missed cancer diagnoses.

Better Public Health. We need proper public health measures to keep our children healthy, like banning the promotion of vaping and junk food to young people and supporting an incremental ban on smoking. Our children’s health is too important not to take action.

Mental health. Labour will recruit 8,500 additional mental health staff to drive down waiting lists, funded through closing tax loopholes. Labour will make sure every young person will have access to a specialist mental health professional at school. With Labour’s Young Futures plan, every community will have an open access mental health hub for young people (11-24), providing early intervention through drop-in services. The schools’ element is paid for by ending tax breaks for private schools. The staffing is paid for by abolishing tax loopholes for private equity managers.

What Labour’s long term health plan means for you.

  • Faster NHS treatment delivering two million more appointments a year by paying NHS staff more to work evenings and weekends.
  • Fewer cancer deaths by improving early diagnosis for cancer by doubling the number of NHS scanners.
  • 700,00 more urgent dentist appointments.
  • Fast access to mental health services by recruiting 8,500 new NHS mental health staff.
  • Return of the family doctor by cutting red tape so that patients can see the same GP each appointment if they choose to.

All fully funded by scrapping the loophole which allows some mega rich people who live in the UK to avoid paying tax. The mental health professionals including in schools is paid for by ending the tax breaks for private schools.

Let’s turn the page on Tory failure.

  • NHS waiting list now at almost 8 million.
  • 500,000 cancer patients seen after the two week target.
  • 43% of patients waited more than four hours in A and E compared with 5% of patients under the last Labour government.
  • Tooth decay is the biggest cause of hospital visits for 6-10 year olds.
  • Slowed increase in life expectancy after decades of steady improvement.
  • 4,000 GPs cut and closing nearly 1,800 GP practices.
  • Failure to end strikes by doctors.