Labour vows to rescue the NHS from the bungling Tories in 10 year plan

Jan 27, 2015

Labour vow to end home help rationing for the elderly as the General Election battle lines are drawn

Ed Miliband will today set out his plans to end the scandal of haphazard home care for the elderly which robs hundreds of thousands of help, support and dignity.

Speaking in Trafford – where the first NHS hospital was opened in 1948 – the Labour Leader will announce a 10-year plan to rescue the health service.

And, warning that the NHS faces its “most perilous moment” if the Tories win power in May, he will say: “When you look at his record for the last five years and his plan for the next five years, you know David Cameron can’t be trusted with our NHS.”

At the heart of plans he announces today will be help to ensure the elderly are not alone or living in cold homes, the recruitment of 5,000 more NHS home care workers and an end to penny-pinching 15-minute home care slots.

The promises come after a recent report by Age UK found half of the one million elderly people who struggle to wash or bathe get no help at all.

PA Prime Minister David Cameron meets apprentices during a visit to Martin's Rubber in Southampton
Prime Minister David Cameron meets apprentices during a visit to Martin's Rubber in Southampton

And many who do get support only receive 15 minutes of home care a day in three-quarters of councils in England.

Mr Miliband would introduce a “year of care” budgets for health and social care.

This will encourage councils to provide decent home care – as budgets will be cut if they keep an elderly person in hospital who could be discharged.

Labour will also create “a new arm of the NHS” by hiring an additional 5,000 home care workers to offer help to those leaving hospital and to allow the terminally ill to spend their last days with their families.

And all vulnerable older people will be offered a “safety check” to see if they are at risk of loneliness or cold homes.

Other elements of the plan include the recruitment of 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 GPs and 3,000 midwives – paid for by a mansion tax and levy on tobacco firms. He will also promise more investment in mental health, a public health drive to tackle Britain’s addiction to junk food and drink and a guarantee of a GP appointment in 48 hours.

Labour will restore the values of the NHS by repealing the Health and Social Care Act that has allowed the creeping privatisation of health services.

PA Ed Miliband (centre) and shadow health secretary Andy Burnham (second left) meet staff and patients
Hospital visit: Labour leader Ed Miliband (centre) and shadow health secretary Andy Burnham (second left)

Mr Miliband will say: “David Cameron puts the wrong values at the heart of our NHS and he just won’t put the right resources into our NHS.”

“That means you will wait longer and longer for care, or be forced to go private if you want timely treatment, as more services are hived off to private firms.

“One of our country’s most precious institutions faces its most perilous moment in a generation. The future of our NHS is at stake in this general election.

“When people can’t get to see their GP, they end up in A&E. When problems with mental health aren’t spotted early, they build up and people end up in hospital.

“When elderly people can’t get the care they need at home, they are more likely to grow ill or have a fall and end up in hospital.

“In every case, it is worse for the person involved and it costs the NHS more too.”


In a boost for the Daily Mirror’s Respect Our Elderly campaign, Mr Miliband also pledged to end zero hours contracts for care workers.

He said such contracts exploit staff, who are often not paid between visits, and drive down standards of care.

The Mirror is demanding proper training and fairer pay for Britain’s 1.2 million carers and care workers as well as an end to abuse and neglect in care homes.

Recent polls show the issue is on the list of people’s main concerns when it comes to voting at the general election.

Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham said the plans would “re-set” the NHS for the 21st century. He said he wanted a service that supported people with dementia, autism and mental ill health as well as it treated cancer patients.

He said: “I have long warned, if social care is allowed to collapse, it will drag down the rest of the NHS.”

But a Tory spokesman said: “We know Ed Miliband says in private he needs to ‘weaponise’ the NHS for political gain. But he has no economic plan. Only by sticking to our long-term plan will we build a stronger economy, meaning a stronger NHS.”


Tories use loophole to fund election campaign

The Tories are exploiting a loophole so taxpayers foot the bill for their election campaigning, it was revealed yesterday.

David Cameron yesterday made a nakedly political speech to party activists in Bursledon, Hants, but made a brief stop at a nearby rubber factory on “government business”.

That meant the public paid for the trip to the south coast – saving Tory cash for the tense run-in to polling day on May 7. A Downing Street spokeswoman confirmed last night: “On days where there is Government business as part of the PM’s programme, the costs are met by the Government.”

Last week the Tory leader made a campaign speech in Ipswich about full employment, followed by a visit to a jewellery factory in Norwich. It is thought the factory trip was deemed government business – so taxpayers paid for the journey to East Anglia.

At the same time, Mr Cameron is refusing to commit to live TV debates where he could address a wider audience without cost to the taxpayer.

His latest ploy is to suggest Northern Ireland party chiefs should take part too. This was highlighted by the Mirror Chicken, who swooped on Mr Cameron’s campaign visit to Bursledon, Hants.

But Mr Cameron slipped out of the back door to avoid our bird.

One pin-striped flunky sniped sarcastically: “Shame you missed him.”

Albanpix Daily Mirror Chicken
Who's chicken now? David Cameron tried to avoid the Daily Mirror Chicken again
PA Prime Minister David Cameron meets apprentices during a visit to Martin's Rubber in Southampton
PA Ed Miliband (centre) and shadow health secretary Andy Burnham (second left) meet staff and patients
Albanpix Daily Mirror Chicken
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