Labour Health Policy 2015

These two resolutions were agreed by the Labour Party Conference 2015

Composite 9 – NHS

Conference notes the letter sent by the health service regulator Monitor on 3 August to NHS Trusts which stated that their current financial plans were unaffordable and asking Trusts to only fill vacancies where essential.

Cipfa notes that government hopes of saving £2bn over the next 5 years are already’ optimistic’ and take no account of David Cameron’s pledges to increase 7-day services and to introduce a ‘living wage’, let alone preventing the knock on effects on the NHS of government’s failure to invest in social care and its 6.2per cent cuts this year to its grants to local authorities for public health.

Cipfa warns that drastic solutions now required may include a greater reliance by individual patients on health insurance and/or direct payments towards the cost of their healthcare.

Conference is concerned that this will lead to longer waiting times and an increased reliance on the use of agency staff who will not know the patients and their needs as well as permanent staff and will ultimately lead to a greater cost in the provision of an adequate service.

Faced by the prospect of privatisation and charges, this Conference now affirms Labour’s commitment to campaign with patients, health workers and all other NHS supporters for:

  • an integrated health and social care system that is free at the point of use, publicly owned, adequately funded and publicly accountable
  • an NHS that is publicly owned, publicly (and adequately) funded and publicly accountable;
  • reduced waiting- times for patients;
  • no service closures (or ‘re-configurations’) without proper local consultation and consent; and only where sufficient alternatives are laid down in advance
  • adequate numbers of properly remunerated staff with minimum reliance on agency staff
  • exclusion of the NHS from TTIP and other ‘free trade’ agreements
  • a serious attempt to tackle the causes of ill health as proposed by Sir Michael Marmot: economic inequality, substance abuse, excessive consumption of sugar and insufficient exercise

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

Mover: Westminster North CLP Seconder: Socialist Health Association

Contemporary Motion – Mental Health

Conference is concerned by research from YoungMinds, published in the New Statesman on the 27th August, which details cuts of £85m to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services across England.

The document also notes that 75 per cent of mental health trusts have frozen or cut their budgets between 2013/14 and 2014/15. The estimated tens of millions worth of cuts equates to almost 2,000 members of staff.

Conference also notes that between April 2011 and summer 2014 over 2,100 mental health beds have been dosed due to cuts, including 5 units in Nottinghamshire. Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust announced its intention to close a further 30 beds over two units on the 19th July 2015.

On June 4th 2015 Community Care announced that overall bed occupancy rates are at their highest ever level, and the average occupancy in acute admission wards is at 104 per cent. The recommended rate designated by the Royal College of Psychiatrists is 85 per cent. This over subscription often leads to patients being taken to beds up to 300 miles away, This makes no moral or economic sense.

Conference is pleased to see the creation of the post of Shadow Minister for Mental Health.

Conference resolves to oppose these illogical and inhumane cuts; Conference resolves to improve mental health provision;

Conference resolves to ensure that mental health provision is given a higher priority by the Labour Party.

Mover: Nottingham South CLP