Labour manifesto plans integrated health and care service with 'time to care'

Labour has set out its complete health policy as the party launched its general election manifesto.

Ed Miliband and Andy Burnham: Labour NHS plans (Photo: UNP)
Ed Miliband and Andy Burnham: Labour NHS plans (Photo: UNP)

In a health policy manifesto published on Saturday the party confirmed plans to repeal the 2013 Health and Social Care Act and ‘scrap’ NHS privatisation.

Key commitments include:

  • Create a single integrated health and care service
  • Put in place an ‘NHS preferred provider’ framework, to ensure that the NHS is not destabilised by market competition
  • Repeal the market, scrapping the ‘Section 75’ regulations that have effectively made tendering statutory 
  • Better integration between the ambulance service, NHS 111 and GP out-of-hours services
  • Improve access to a GP by guaranteeing appointments within 48 hours, or on the same day for those who need it
  • Help patients plan ahead by giving people the right to book further ahead with the GP of their choice
  • Save £100m from competition red tape to invest in better GP access
  • Raise £2.5bn a year for a Time to Care Fund, funded by a mansion tax on properties over £2m, tackling tax avoidance and a levy on tobacco firms
  • Recruit 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more GPs, 3,000 more midwives and 5,000 new care workers by 2020
  • Ensure that the training of all NHS staff includes mental health
  • Introduce a national programme of ‘social prescribing’ in GP surgeries and primary care, including with a focus on tackling isolation and loneliness to improve mental health

At the weekend chancellor George Osborne pledged the Conservatives would protect the ‘precious’ NHS by funding the £8bn a year increase NHS England has said is required by 2020 to help plug a projected £30bn black hole.

Labour manifesto

Launching the party’s manifesto in Manchester Ed Miliband criticised the Conservatives for making uncosted pledges.

‘In recent days you have seen the Conservatives throwing spending promises around with no idea of where the money is coming from, promises which are unfunded, unfair and unbelievable,' he said.

‘That approach is bad for the nation’s books. And nothing is more dangerous to our NHS than saying you will protect it without being able to say where the money is coming from. You can’t help the NHS with an IOU.’

Mr Miliband said: 'We need an NHS with time to care for us all'. It was right, he said, to ask thse who can afford to to pay more through a mansion tax to fund 8,000 more GPs.

'We will call time on David Cameron's privatisation of the NHS,' he added, with the repeal of the 'terrible' Health and Social Care Act.

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