Labour Party Conference Resolution on the NHS

Labour Health Policy


Conference notes reports on August 15 that waiting lists for operations reached their longest in 5 years and figures published on August 21 that show 5,276 fewer nurses in NHS since May 2010.

Conference expresses concern over the recent crisis in A&E under David Cameron. Since the election, people waiting over 4 hours have more than doubled. Ambulance queues have doubled too.

Conference believes the Tory-led Government’s cuts to elderly care are a major cause of the A&E crisis Conference notes that in 2013 under the Tory-led coalition government, the A&E winter crisis has become endemic, with half of Trusts in London failing to meet the 4 hour waiting target, with chronic shortages of Emergency Medicine staff

Conference is not surprised that under this government we have had the first summer crisis in the NHS for years. Nearly 1 million people waited more than 4 hours in A&E over the last year. Jeremy Hunt has spent August looking for people to blame for the unprecedented increase in waiting times in casualty departments across England Conference notes that:

  1. The NHS is not safe in the hands of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats
  2. Professor Don Berwick’s report to the Government published on 6 August makes it clear that NHS staff should not be scapegoated when services are overstretched and that good people can fail to meet patients’ needs when their working conditions do not provide them with the conditions for success;
  3. David Cameron’s 8 August announcement of funding for struggling A&E Departments fails to address the fundamental threats to our NHS posed by increasing privatisation and continual cuts to nursing numbers

Conference notes the 11 hospitals placed into special measures In the Keogh report leaving public confidence in the hospitals at an all-time low and hospital staff under huge pressure

The Tory led coalition government has again demonstrated it cannot be trusted with the NHS.

They are creating poorer quality, failing and fragmented services, as demonstrated by the breakdown of parts of the NHS111 service. Conference also recognises that A&E services are stretched as never before. Conference is proud of Labour’s record of investment in the NHS and reaffirms that the NHS should be free at the point of use, for all, based on need and not the ability to pay, that values collaboration over competition and which delivers care according to the needs of the patient and not the market.

Conference notes with concern the research published by the NHS Confederation on 8th September highlighting that less than half of Accident & Emergency expect to meet waiting time targets in the coming months. Conference recognises that hospitals are struggling to cope, as the NHS deals with David Cameron’s cuts and a £3 billion top-down reorganisation. Conference notes concerns raised by experts who say that A&Es don’t have safe staffing levels.

And Conference notes the recommendation for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to develop benchmarks on staffing requirement and notes concerns over some extortionate PFI charges.

Conference recognises the high court judgement of 31st July that overturned the Government’s decision to downgrade services at Lewisham Hospital, and congratulates everyone who contributed to the campaign which recognised that real consultation should be guided by clinical consideration, informed by public health knowledge, and include patient and public engagement – a clear rejection of the government’s top-down approach.

Conference recognises the people of Lewisham for successfully challenging the decision to downgrade & close their hospital’s Accident & Emergency, Paediatric and Maternity services and highlighting broken promises made to Parliament by the Secretary of State and the Prime Minister.

Conference notes the threatened closures of A&Es and other hospital units.

David Cameron promised to protect the NHS; he has broken that promise. Conference recognises that the Government’s botched reorganisation of the health service, especially its impact across South London, is putting intolerable pressures on hard pressed staff who continue to strive to provide high quality care.

It was Labour that fought to create the NHS. It is now up to labour to fight to defend it.

Conference believes that the Government’s harmful, market-led approach should be replaced with a system driven by responsible, clinically-led choices, where the priority is continuity of care and consideration for the whole person, not competition and fragmentation

Welcomes Labour’s commitment to repeal the Health and Social Care Act

Reaffirms our urgent call for Labour to work with health unions and other NHS supporters to campaign against privatisation

Conference supports Labour’s aim of developing a unified, national system of high quality health and social care based on the values of caring, compassion, fairness and equality. Conference believes that you can’t trust David Cameron with the NHS. Conference calls upon Labour to break down the barriers between health and care, into a single service to meet all of a person’s care needs Conference calls on all those in the Labour movement. To stand united to defend our National Health Service.

Moved: Lewisham Deptford CLP

Seconded: Newcastle upon Tyne Central CLP

The punctuation has been corrected.