Labour vows to 'reset' the NHS after the next election

 

Health Reporter

The NHS in England will have to be “reset” after the next election, Labour have said, with a fundamental shift from hospital care to support in the home.

Andy Burnham, the shadow Health Secretary, said that under a Labour Government NHS patients would have “powerful new rights” to improved long-term care, but would have to accept that local hospital services may be changed or downgraded to save money.

Speaking to health service managers at the NHS Confederation's annual conference today, he said that the change would be so significant that every household in the country should be sent a leaflet outlining “what people should expect” from the NHS in the 21 century.

Patients could expect a single point of contact to coordinate their NHS care, as well as a "personalised care plan", Mr Burnham said. However, he said politicians would need to be honest with the public and tell them that

"To make all this happen you must expect to see changes in your local NHS and in particular at your local hospital," including fewer hospital beds. 

Senior figures in the Labour party are understood to be drawing up plans for a manifesto pledge to increase NHS spending. However, while not ruling out a funding boost, Mr Burnham insisted that it would not be right to ask the taxpayer for more money until reforms were in place.

“Until we correct the flaws in this system... we can't ask the public to pay more into that system,” he said. “We've already admitted that we're not able to get the best for them out of what they're currently giving... to put more money in now would be to prop up a 20th Century model of care, which is increasingly offering ever increasing hospitalisation of old people as its answer to the ageing society.”

The need to reform the NHS so that preventative care in the home and the community is upgraded to avoid expensive and ever-increasing hospital admissions is now a mantra for all three political parties.

The health service is facing a financial crisis, with a budget deficit of £30 billion predicted by 2021, and some experts have said that the NHS will need an injection of funding in the next Parliament or face the reality of significant cuts to services.

However, with the economic recovery still fragile and NHS spending set in stone until 2015/16, both Mr Burnham and the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt say that reform and cutting waste must come before any new funding allocation.

Mr Hunt, who also addressed NHS Confederation members today, said it would be “much easier to make the argument for extra funding if you really have been innovative and done everything you possibly can to eliminate waste in every part of the system”.

Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat Care Minister, admitted that the financial sustainability of the NHS would have to be urgently addressed by the next Government.

“Whatever Government is in power after May 2015, the finances of the NHS is going to be one of the most pressing issues that they will have to face,” he said.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Author / Multimedia Writer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This recognized leader in providing software s...

    Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

    £40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

    Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

    Day In a Page

    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
    Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

    Why are we addicted to theme parks?

    Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
    Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

    Iran is opening up again to tourists

    After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
    10 best PS4 games

    10 best PS4 games

    Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
    Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

    Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

    Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
    Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

    ‘Can we really just turn away?’

    Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

    ... and not just because of Isis vandalism
    Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

    Girl on a Plane

    An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent