A photo of an NHS lanyard

Campaign group Keep Our NHS Public has claimed that the Labour Party’s manifesto commitments on the NHS are ‘not fit for the future’. The claim was made off the back of the group conducting detailed analysis of the manifesto.

Keep Our NHS Public has also said that its campaigners – who include NHS staff and health policy experts – believe that the crisis in the NHS means the incoming government should declare a ‘national health emergency’ to release emergency measures proportionate to the severity of loss of life, health and livelihood that is currently occurring, and to build back the capacity of the NHS.

Keep Our NHS public says that the Labour Party manifesto is well short of what is required to address the crisis facing the health service. In the group’s critique, they say that Labour’s manifesto is insufficient in the following ways:

  • No commitment to invest the required funds in the public NHS after 14 years of austerity – every chance finances will be squeezed further
  • Insistence that government must prioritise thorough going NHS reforms over funding
  • No commitment to ending the wasteful and damaging investment in the private sector invited into the NHS body and parasitising it
  • Insistence that there is ‘spare capacity’ in the private sector that can benefit the NHS and end waiting lists, when all the evidence shows exactly the reverse is true
  • No commitment to full pay restoration for NHS staff and a reliance on their agreeing to work overtime to reduce the NHS waiting lists
  • No commitment to ending the charging of undocumented people for healthcare

Keep Our NHS Public has produced a ‘Vision for a People’s NHS’ setting out what they believe is really needed to restore the NHS to its founding principles.

Dr Tony O’Sullivan, Co-Chair of Keep Our NHS Public and a retired Consultant Paediatrician, said: “After 14 years of rising pressures on the NHS and its staff and the damage done, it will take emergency measures to urgently restore the NHS to a safe, strong service. The government is almost certainly going to be Labour.  If Labour stands by its manifesto, refuses to give the NHS the funds it needs to address waiting times and unmet need, and fulfils its threat to fund the private sector, it will be furthering the downward spiral of the NHS as a public service unable to meet the needs of the population. It is simply not true that Labour’s plans are ‘in line with the principles of the NHS that Labour founded’.”