How Labour will get the NHS back on its feet
The next Labour government will reform the NHS to provide a better service for patients and secure better value for taxpayers’ money – in order to get the NHS back on its feet.
Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting has warned that the health service will not survive another 75 years without fundamental reform.
In his speech to Labour Party Conference, he said that the party will “face up to the scale of the challenge”, and that the solution to the crisis the NHS faces cannot be solved by “pouring ever-increasing amounts of money into a system that isn’t working”.
“Be in no doubt about the scale of the challenge. In the longer term, the challenge of rising chronic disease, combined with our ageing society, threatens to bankrupt the NHS,” Streeting said.
“Pouring ever-increasing amounts of money into a system that isn’t working is wasteful in every sense.
“A waste of money we don’t have. A waste of time that is running out. A waste of potential, because the NHS has so much going for it.”
He promised that Labour’s reform agenda will also include “immediate action” to help tackle the waiting lists crisis, with 7.7 million patients currently waiting for treatment, and the six-week waiting times target not hit since 2017.
Labour has pledged to:
- Provide 2 million more operations, scans, and appointments a year on evenings and weekends, with £1.1 billion paid to staff in overtime
- Double the number of NHS scanners, buying AI-scanners which work 35% faster, to diagnose patients earlier
- Deliver 700,000 urgent dentistry appointments, recruit more dentists to areas most in need, introduce supervised toothbrushing for 3-5 year-olds, and reform the NHS dental contract.
“A Labour government will take immediate action to cut waiting lists,” Streeting said.
“We’ll provide an extra £1.1bn to help the NHS beat the backlog, with extra clinics at evenings and weekends – providing two million more appointments each year.
“Faster treatment for patients. Extra pay for staff. The first step to cut waiting lists and beat the Tory backlog.
“Paid for by abolishing the non-dom tax status, because patients need treatment more than the wealthiest need a tax break.”
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