Hospital Dr News

Make hospital trusts integrated care organisations

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said the Labour Party would address the “ever-increasing hospitalisation” of older people by transforming all hospital trusts and NHS bodies into integrated care organisations.

Speaking at the party’s annual conference, Burnham said a Labour government would create a National Health and Care Service – with better social care “unlocking the money” and allowing more people to receive care in their homes and communities.

Terminally ill patients would have the right to free palliative care at home, he also announced.

Yesterday, Ed Miliband said he would inject £2.5bn into the NHS to pay for 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more GPs, 5,000 more care workers and 3,000 midwives by 2020. This would be funded by a crackdown on corporate tax loopholes, a “mansion tax” and a levy on cigarette makers.

Burnham said: “It makes no sense to cut simple support in people’s homes only to spend thousands keeping them in hospital. We can’t afford it. It will break the NHS.”

As part of a shake-up of palliative care, he said patients would be given the right to die at home “where clinically possible”.

Up to 60,000 people on an “end of life register” could potentially be offered free care at home in their final few months, starting with those with substantial social care needs.

He also announced new rights for carers, including ring-fenced funding for a respite break, the right to an annual health check and assistance with parking charges.

Burnham re-iterated the party’s desire to repeal the Health and Social Care Act, and stop the ‘privatisation’ of the NHS.

The NHS would once again become the preferred provider of healthcare services.

He said: “The market is not the answer to 21st century health and care.

“People out there know a minimum wage, zero hours approach will never secure the care they want for their mum and dad.

“So our ten year plan for the NHS is founded on people before profits. We will free the NHS from Cameron’s market and, yes, repeal his toxic Health and Social Care Act.

“We will ask hospitals to collaborate once again and reinstate the NHS as our preferred provider.”

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt questioned why Burnham didn’t mention key NHS failures that happened under Labour – such as Mid Staffs – and suggested his 10-year plan represented another ‘top-down’ reorganisation.

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