From the very day we’re born, throughout our lives and into old age, we all rely on and use our nation’s greatest achievements – our free-to-all National Health Service and our social care system.

Whenever we’re ill, whether that’s a trip to the GP or something more serious, or need extra care services as we age, we all need the security of knowing that we’ll be able to access these services without worry – which is why it’s vital that our NHS, mental health and social care services remain universally-available public services which are properly funded and staffed in order to meet demand.

Conservative policies over the last nine years have resulted in such drastic, real-term cuts across the board that all of these services are now in crisis.

Under the Conservatives:

  • The NHS suffered the worst Winter crisis in its 70-year history, with at least 21 trusts on black alert in 2018 (when they were no longer able to guarantee patient safety or provide a full range of services).
  • Tens of thousands of operations for hip and knee replacements and cataract removals were cancelled.
  • Waiting lists reached a 10-year high.
  • Billions of pounds of NHS cash has been handed to private care providers, putting public money into companies concerned only with making profit.
  • Council social care budgets have been slashed by £8bn since 2010 – so now one million people don’t get the care they need, and 87 people die each day waiting for care.
  • There are now more than five million unpaid carers are looking after loved ones.
  • Care workers are over-worked and underpaid – and allowed a shocking short fifteen minute visit with each of their patients.
  • A huge 4000 mental health beds have closed since 2010.
  • The mental health nursing workforce has decreased by 10% since 2009, with acute care and inpatient care suffering a massive 25% decrease.
  • There is a ‘postcode lottery’ of NHS, social care and mental health services, so the quality and amount of care you receive can depend on where you live – and that’s not right or fair.

A Labour government will:

  • Increase expenditure across the health sector by an average of 4.3% a year – ending patient charges, guaranteeing healthcare standards, investing in education for the health workforce and restoring public health grants.
  • Provide an immediate 5% pay rise for public sector workers, with year-on-year above-inflation pay rises to follow.
  • Stabilise over-stretched A&E departments, improve stroke, heart disease and cancer survival rates by providing earlier diagnosis and improved screening, and end bed cuts.
  • End and reverse the privatisation of the NHS, ensuring services are delivered in-house.
  • Ensure that access to the best care, drugs and treatments are available to ALL NHS patients, wherever they live.
  • Introduce mandatory standards for NHS in-patient food and free hospital parking for patients, staff and visitors.
  • Provide free annual NHS dental check ups.
  • Expand GP training places to provide resources for 27 million more appointments each year.
  • Provide an additional £1.6 billion a year to ensure new standards for mental health care across the NHS, investing £2 billion to modernise hospital facilities and end out of area placements.

The future is ours to make.

It’s time for real change – for the many, not the few.

See the full version of the Labour Party Manifesto for more details.