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11 May 2017
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A draft of the Labour Party’s 2017 election manifesto has been leaked to the press despite the party leaders only today (11 May) meeting to finalise it ahead of its planned launch.
The manifesto, which the party has confirmed is a genuine draft, says that a Labour government would give more than £6bn in added funding to the NHS.
The Conservative Party has called the plans ‘a total shambles’ which would ‘unleash chaos’ on Britain.
Labour has already pledged to scrap the 1% pay cap on NHS staff if elected. And to increase pay for health professionals to ‘a sustainable level that reflects the complexity of the work carried out’.
The draft manifesto also reveals that upon election Labour would immediately guarantee the rights of EU staff working in health and care services. They also pledged to support NHS whistleblowers to be able to speak up, and to make it a criminal offence to attack NHS staff.
Community care services
‘We will increase funding to GP services to ensure patients can access the care they need. And we will halt pharmacy closures and review provision to ensure all patients have access to pharmacy services, particularly in deprived or remote communities.
‘The Conservatives have left a social care system that is increasingly fragile and unfit for purpose. Despite rising demand, the Conservatives chose to cut council budgets, meaning £4.6bn was cut from adult social care.
‘There are now half a million fewer people getting publicly funded care than in 2010 and 1.2 million older people have unmet care needs.
‘We will ensure that everyone with a long-term condition, such as those withdiabetes, will have the right to a specialised care plan, and access to condition management education.
‘We will ensure high quality, personalised care for people approaching the end of their life, wherever and whenever they need it.’
The manifesto says that a Labour government would give more than £6bn extra in annual funding for the NHS. It would acheive this ‘by increasing income tax for the highest 5% of earners, by increasing tax on private medical insurance, and by halving the fees paid to management consultants’.
To address the immediate funding crisis in social care we will provide an additional £8bn over the lifetime of the next parliament for social care, including £1bn in the first year.
‘Labour will halt the NHS “Sustainability and Transformation Plans” which are looking at closing health services across England and ask local health groups to redraw the plans with a focus on patient need rather than available finances. We will create a new quality, safety and excellence regulator – to be called “NHS Excellence”,’ the draft says.
They would also introduce a new Office for Budget Responsibility for Health to oversee health spending and scrutinize how it is spent.
The manifesto promises to reverse privatisation of the NHS and repeal the Health & Social Care Act which it says ‘puts profits before patients’.
They would reinstate the powers of the secretary of state for health to have overall responsibility for the NHS, and would introduce a ‘new legal duty on the Secretary of State and on NHS England to ensure that excess private profits are not made out of the NHS at the expense of patient care’.
A Conservative spokesperson said: ‘This is a total shambles. Jeremy Corbyn’s plans to unleash chaos on Britain have been revealed.
‘The commitments in this dossier will rack up tens of billions of extra borrowing for our families and will put Brexit negotiations at risk. Jobs will be lost, families will be hit and our economic security damaged for a generation if Jeremy Corbyn and the coalition of chaos are ever let anywhere near the keys to Downing Street.’