At the moment one in four patients wait a week or more for a GP appointment or can’t get one at all. That means more people going to A&E instead, putting pressure on already stretched services and increasing waiting times. Last year almost a million people waited longer than four hours to be admitted to A&E. Nearly three times as many as Labour’s last year in office.
Part of the problem in the NHS is there simply aren’t enough frontline staff. Thousands have been lost under David Cameron and now more than half of nurses say their ward is dangerously understaffed.
The next Labour government will make it our mission to save the NHS and build a world class 21st Century health and care service with enough doctors and nurses with the time to care for patients and integrated services built around the needs of people.
That’s why we’ll raise £2.5 billion for an NHS time to care fund to pay for an additional 20,000 nurses and 8,000 GPs by 2020. A new generation workforce funded by a mansion tax on homes worth over £2m and a levy on tobacco companies.
We’ll guarantee a GP appointment within 48 hours to anyone who needs one, which in turn will ease pressure on A&E departments in hospitals and guarantee that by the end of the next parliament no one will have to wait longer than one week for a cancer test and result. We will make patient services fit for the future by bringing together physical health, mental health and social care into a single service. Patients with different needs will get a single point of contact to organise their care and we’ll scrap the governments damaging Health and Social Care Act and put the right values back at the heart of the NHS, Collaboration and Cooperation not Competition and Privatisation.
We’d love to hear from you and in particular we’d like you to tell us how you think a Labour Government can improve NHS services and have you or has someone you know, had an experience you’d like to share with us?