Hospital Dr News

Labour would re-nationalise NHS and stop creeping privatisation

A Labour Government would stop the privatisation of NHS services, ending PFIs and repealing the Health and Social Care Act.

These are the intentions of Jonathan Ashworth, Shadow Health Secretary, speaking at the Labour Party Conference.

Ashworth said he would re-nationalise the NHS. Labour will vote against the Conservative’s accountable care organisation proposals and block transfers of hospital staff to subsidiary companies.

He said: “We know privatisation puts patient care at risk. Privatisation means patient transport services run by companies that leave patients stranded.

“It means GP out-of-hours services that aren’t available out of hours.

“It means a failing hospital cleaning contract that led to infectious waste flowing through a children’s ward.

“And it means Virgin Care suing our NHS.”

Ashworth said a Labour-run NHS would also put the patient first and reduce the charges they face.

He said he would cut hospital car parking fees, and high charges for access to TV.

“We’ll end these rip offs and deliver a fair deal for patients,” he said.

A Labour Government would also cover the costs of travel to and from hospital for cancer treatment for children.

Ashworth warned that after years of austerity health inequalities are getting wider.

He said a Labour Government would establish a specific target to narrow health inequalities.

“Rather than cutting prevention budgets we will fully fund public health provision including sexual health services and drug and alcohol addiction services,” he said.

“Our ambition is the healthiest children in the world so we’ll start tackling childhood obesity through ending junk food advertising on family TV and introducing universal free school meals.”

He said Labour would recruit more Health Visitors and invest properly in perinatal mental health services.

Ashworth also highlighted the underfunding of child and adolescent mental health services, saying Labour would also invest in eating disorder services and “finally deliver true parity of esteem for mental health services”.

Watch his full speech.

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