Ed Miliband pledges NHS reform repeal

 

Labour leader Ed Miliband promised today to repeal the Government's NHS reforms and restore the Health Secretary's legal duty to provide a comprehensive health service.

Last year's Health and Social Care Act stated that the Health Secretary had the responsibility to "promote" the delivery of health services in England, but removed a previous duty to "provide or secure the provision of services".

Mr Miliband said the move was part of a "deliberate strategy" by Conservatives to allow them to deflect blame for any failings in the NHS on to doctors, hospital managers and commissioning groups.

Writing in the Daily Mirror, the Labour leader said the Government was operating an "ABC of blame" when anything went wrong - passing the buck to "Anyone But Cameron".

"The crisis in A&E? Blame the GPs. Ambulance queues doubled? It must be the fault of the local hospital. Rationing of vital treatments like cataract operations and hip -replacements? It's a matter for your local commissioning group," said Mr Miliband.

"This is the Government's ABC of blame - Anyone But Cameron."

Mr Miliband said there were "growing signs that our NHS is in deep distress", with lengthening waits at A&E, growing queues of ambulances outside and a worsening "postcode lottery" in services.

But he said: "The response from David Cameron's Tory-led -Government has been to shrug its shoulders and blame everybody else - doctors, nurses, even the NHS itself. This is no accident. It is a deliberate strategy by the Tories.

"When Labour created the NHS, in the face of austerity and Conservative -opposition, we placed on the statute book a legal duty requiring national government to provide a comprehensive health service free at the point of delivery for all British citizens.

"It was a foundation stone of -political accountability. And it was abolished by the very first line of David Cameron's Health Act last year."

Mr Miliband promised that, if Labour returned to power, "we would repeal David Cameron's Health Act and reinstate the -Secretary of State's duty to provide a comprehensive health service".

PA

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Professional Sales Trainee - B2B

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: First things first - for the av...

Recruitment Genius: Creative Web and UI Designer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An experienced creative web and...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

£17000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity is now ...

Recruitment Genius: Account Executive - Graduate / Entry Level

£22000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital advertising infras...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral