With 100 days to go until the UK general election, the Labour Party has launched its campaign to convince voters that the NHS will be best-served in its hands.
Speaking in Manchester, Labour leader Ed Miliband said that “our country’s most precious institution faces its most perilous moment in a generation” and proceeded to criticise the Conservative Party’s record, saying “we know too they will press on with plans to fragment and privatise the NHS”.
Repeating fundings plans using billions from tax avoidance, the tobacco companies and a ‘mansion tax', Mr Miliband said Labour will “build an NHS with the time to care” with 20,000 more nurses and another 8,000 GPs if it wins. He also spoke of joining up services “from home to hospital, guaranteeing GP appointments within 48 hours and cancer tests within one week”.
In a speech to The King’s Fund in London, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham (pictured) reiterated his plans to integrate health and social care, saying “if we start in the home and make care personal to each family, it is more likely to work for them and cost less for everyone”. He spoke of a wider role for the ambulance service and a personal care plan for people with on-going needs co-ordinated through a single point of contact.
Mr Burnham also said Labour that the public NHS would be “our preferred provider” exempting it from procurement and competition law in Europe and international trade treaties. He concluded by saying that without repeal of the present Health and Social Care Act, the NHS could be “sunk by a toxic mix of cuts, crisis and privatisation”.