David Cameron promised that under him there would be no top-down NHS reorganisations. He broke his promise. It just goes to show: you can’t trust the Tories with the NHS.
In fact, the Tories have wasted £3 billion on a top-down reorganisation which puts competition and profits before co-operation and patient care, and ties hospitals up in competition law.
Scandalously, as part of David Cameron’s reorganisation, over 4,000 NHS staff have been laid off and then rehired, many of them on six-figure salaries.
And this wasteful and chaotic upheaval is having a knock-on effect on the thing that matters most: patient care. Experts are warning that more services are likely to be charged for, with fewer services provided free at the point of need. Waiting lists, already rising, look set to be pushed up even further as budgets are squeezed and more hospitals fall into deficit. More operations look set to be rationed as patients are given a simple choice: wait longer or pay to go private.
The Tories are committed to carving more services off into the private sector, and creating a system which is increasingly fragmented and driven by which services are profitable, not by clinical need.
It always falls to Labour to save the NHS from the Tories. We will do it again.
- We will repeal David Cameron’s Health and Social Care Act, putting right the worst of the changes the Tories have made. We’ll ensure that the Secretary of State has a duty to guarantee a national service free at the point of use; we’ll remove enforced competition; we’ll ensure private patients aren’t put before NHS patients; and we’ll tackle conflicts of interest.
- We will make sure the NHS is focused not on competition but on collaboration, so that the system is properly integrated to work in the interests of patients. And we’ll stop the NHS wasting money on competition lawyers instead of patient care.