For anyone who has recently attended the Accident and Emergency Department at Royal Blackburn it will come as no surprise that new figures published today show that A&Es in England have now missed the Government’s A&E target for 80 weeks in a row. Despite this terrible state of affairs there is still no sign of a plan from David Cameron & his ministers that they will turn things around any time soon.
In Blackburn, as elsewhere, patients are waiting too long for ambulances and too long to be seen in A&E. Sadly, this Government’s focus is not on patient care but on PR , with hospitals seemingly under intense pressure to downplay problems for political and reputational reasons.
Less we forget, Ministers caused this crisis by making it harder to see a GP and cutting home care from vulnerable people. Their failure to act now is leaving thousands of patients exposed to too much risk. The Tory A&E crisis is proof they can’t be trusted with the NHS.
On the other hand, Labour’s 10-year plan for the NHS is a blueprint to raise standards of care and ensure the health service is sustainable in the 21st century. Labour will invest an extra £2.5 billion for more nurses, doctors, care workers and midwives, guarantee that you will not have to wait more than a week for a cancer test or 48 hours for a GP appointment, and repeal David Cameron’s NHS changes that put private profit before patient care.
When I met Andy Burnham, Shadow Health Minister recently he explained how Labour has set out a new plan for Britain’s future, a plan that works for ordinary families, rewarding the hard work they do and saving the NHS they rely on.
Andy explained that the Tories can’t build a better future for working people because they stand up only for a privileged few. With the NHS going backwards and a recovery which works just for a few, working people can’t afford five more years of David Cameron.
We also know that you can’t trust Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats. They broke their promises after the last election and have been too weak to stand up to the Tories providing them with cover to introduce an expensive top down reorganisation and bringing in legislation that will open the NHS up to private US companies hell bent on making a quick buck
And less we forget UKIP can’t stand for working people: they’re more Tory than the Tories, a party made up of Tory people, promoting Tory policies, bankrolled by Tory donors. Their ideas of an insurance system similar to that used in the US would signal the end of universal healthcare based on need and compassion.
The only Party that will protect the NHS and get A&E waiting times down is Labour.