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Labour promises ‘people before profit’

24 September 2014

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Labour would put “people before profit” Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham has promised. 

Burnham said that under Labour the NHS would become a “personal” service and the “preferred provider” of services instead of private companies. 

Although the NHS would “never be for sale” under a Labour government, Burnham acknowledged that structural change is needed to meet growing demand. 

One of the first moves from a Labour government would be to repeal the Health and Social Care Act to stop what he described as the “dismantling” of the NHS. 

Hospitals would work together rather than in competition with each other, Burnham told delegates at the Labour party conference. 

Outlining his vision for the service, Burnham said that terminally ill patients would have the right to free end of life care at home. 

And women would have the right to a home-birth “provided on the NHS and no worry about the cost”. 

He said: “The party that created the NHS in the last century today sets out a plan to secure it in this. A rescue plan for a shattered service. A vision for a 21st century NHS, there when you need it, personal to you and your family, with time to care. A national health and care service based on people before profits.” 

According to Burnham, under Labour mental health nurses and therapists would be at the centre of the new “time to care” fund, which would see 36,000 additional healthcare staff hired to work across health and care. 

The funding would be gathered through a tax on houses worth more than £2 million and a levy on tobacco companies.