IN 13 years of Labour reform and investment, people saw huge improvements in the NHS, the lowest ever waiting times, and the highest ever patient satisfaction; but in this the first year of this Tory-Lib Dem Government, patients have instead seen the NHS starting to go backwards.
They have seen the first real-terms cut to the NHS budget since the last time the Tories were in power.
They have seen 400,000 more people suffer long waits for treatment and tests since the election.
They have seen the Prime Minister breaking the very personal promise that he gave at the election to protect the NHS.
ŠThe government’s ‘listening exercise’ was supposed to have won back public support and confidence among NHS staff. It failed.
It is true that changes have been made to the Bill, but they make the NHS plans more complex, more costly and more confused.
Millions of pounds will be wasted on new bureaucracy when it could and should be spent on patient care.
Labour has been campaigning hard againstŠ David Cameron’s plans from the outset and will continue to do so.
His plans for the NHS will mean more bureaucracy, more complexity, more cost, more waste and more power for new national quangos.
We have been leading arguments in public and in Parliament against the changes, since the autumn of 2010, before the Bill was published, and we have worked hard behind the scenes to get NHS professionals and patients’ groups to make the same criticisms.
The Labour Party will do all we can to oppose this fundamental and far-reaching reorganisation of the National Health Service in England.
We have fought the plans at every stage in the House of Commons and will carry on doing so in the Lords.