Our Action Plan for the NHS
We must restore the NHS as a safe, comprehensive, publicly funded, publicly delivered, and publicly accountable integrated healthcare system by reversing the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and supporting an “NHS re-instatement” Bill, to halt and reverse NHS privatisation.
1. Restore the duties and responsibilities of the Secretary of State for Health to provide universal and comprehensive healthcare in England. Ensure less political interference in the day-to-day running of the NHS.
2. Halt privatisation, end competition and scrap the market within the NHS with its associated huge and unnecessary costs and bureaucracy. Reinstate the NHS as the preferred provider of healthcare and remove the requirement to tender out contracts to the private sector.
3. Increase NHS funding by a minimum of 4% per year and ensure that resources and staffing levels are consistent with maintaining patient safety and high quality care and that the value of staff pay is maintained.
4. Listen to patients and staff to improve the NHS. Establish a Health Ombudsman at the head of local independent health commissioners acting on concerns expressed by patients and staff. Reduce the NHS and Department of Health dependence on management consultants and increase the influence of healthcare professionals, staff and patients.
5. End financially driven A&E and hospital closures and re-configurations. There must be evidence-based, clinical reasons which have the support of the local population and the affected professional staff. Suitable and accessible alternatives must be in place before any closures take place.
6. Oppose the EU/US Free Trade Agreement (TTIP) and similar agreements as they threaten not only the NHS but the health and well-being of the public.
7. Stop further Private Finance Initiative (PFI) deals and remove the PFI repayment burden from individual hospital trusts. The Government should renegotiate on the basis of “fair value.
8. Use the purchasing power of the NHS to get the best deals for all NHS supplies, equipment, and pharmaceuticals for the benefit of patients.
9. Abolish prescription charges, which are effectively an unfair tax on people of working age with chronic long term conditions.
10. Ensure “parity of esteem” for mental health services, strengthen maternity services and address the crisis in General Practice with an urgent injection of funding.
11. Introduce free personal social care for the elderly and disabled, and integrate NHS health provision and local authority social care.
12. Prioritise and focus on public health and preventative medicine, including measures to reduce alcohol consumption and smoking.
13. Make the social determinants of health an absolute priority in the design and development of all government policies.