Monday 7 January 2019 / 3:53 PM Jonathan Ashworth / NHS

Jonathan Ashworth responds to proposals in the NHS Long Term Plan

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.”