Renewed Labour Party Commitment to the NHS
At conference, the Labour Party renewed its pledge to a publicly funded and provided NHS. Martin Rathfelder outlined the wording below:
Composite 7 – NHS
Conference confirms Labour’s commitment to an NHS which is publicly funded and free at the point of use and calls on the Labour Party to mount an active campaign to highlight the dangers facing the service as a result of the Government’s underfunding and poor management of the NHS.
Conference notes: The rising tide of cuts and privatisation engulfing the NHS and social care nationwide. Conference believes that the closure of NHS direct and privatisation of NHS 111 have been a disaster leading to increased pressure on A&E.
Conference further notes the 11 August revelation from NHS England that waiting-time targets for operations, A&E and ambulances are consistently being missed.
Conference deplores the Conservatives’ prioritisation of financial objectives above those of clinical need and their proposals for devolved Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) merely seek to evade their own responsibility for NHS cuts. Conference condemns the Tory government and Jeremy Hunt MP for attacking the NHS and our junior doctors and condemns the imposition of an unsafe and unfair contract. Government should put an immediate brake on the imposition of the new contract and listen to the very real concerns about patient safety that are coming from every sector of the NHS workforce. Jeremy Hunt’s ‘Seven-day NHS’ plan is unrealistic and unsafe without the commitment of further resources.
Conference applauds Labour’s commitment to an NHS which is fully publicly funded, owned, accountable and free (including prescriptions, dentistry, optical care) NHS.
Conference therefore calls on all sections of the Labour Party to campaign together with patients, health-workers, unions and all other NHS supporters for:
Adequate NHS funding
Constructive dialogue with organisations representing doctors,nurses and other healthworkers
an end to NHS privatisation
Ending PFI; liberating the NHS from debt
Integration of the NHS with social care systems which are also publicly provided and funded
Adequate funding for Mental Health Services including community based services
Tackling causes of ill-health, e.g. poverty, austerity, poor housing and education
An urgent reduction in waiting times
Adequate numbers of properly remunerated staff
Reversing the Conservatives replacement of health professional student bursaries with loans and the imposition of tuition fees
recognition of the vital NHS role played by 50,000 EU nationals
no service closures (or ”reconfigurations”) without proper local consultation and consent;
exclusion of our NHS from TTIP, CETA and other free trade agreements;
campaigning with the NHS Bill initiative
a rolling programme of increased public ownership of clinical, ancillary, and back office services.
As Nye Bevan said, our NHS will survive as long as there are people to defend it.