The Labour Party 2010 Manifesto
Today the Prime Minister Gordon Brown launched the Labour Party’s 2010 manifesto in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. Some might say the location for the launch conveys in itself the significance of healthcare to the party’s campaign.
The manifesto’s preamble outlines the party’s aim to deliver a progressive Britain based on fairness, respect, decency and openness. It emphasises the importance of taking full account of the financial position Britain is in and subsequently it doesn’t include any big, new spending commitments. Instead it features a set of new rights and entitlements for patients, parents and citizens designed to drive up standards in the public sector and a determination to spend money wisely whilst also protecting frontline services.
The Labour Party propose to build a better health service by protecting NHS spending and shifting to more preventative and personal care, clear patient guarantees and greater care in the home.
Key points on cancer services
- Cancer sits high up on the party’s health agenda; the manifesto proposes to introduce legally binding guarantees for patients including the right to cancer test results within one week of referral
- All cancer patients will be offered one-to-one dedicated nursing for the duration of their care and the party would work with Marie Curie Cancer Care and other similar providers to guarantee everyone who needs/wants it can receive palliative care in their own home
- The pledge for cancer patients to see a cancer specialist within 2 weeks of a GP referral and for patients with long term conditions will remain in place
- The party will support an active role for the independent sector working alongside the NHS in providing care, particularly where they bring (unspecified) innovation to healthcare such as in end-of-life and cancer services
- Patients with a long term condition will have the right to a care plan and an individual budget
Other key health issues
- The process of approving new drugs and treatments will be improved to ensure they are made available on the NHS asap – all leading drugs that are available internationally will be assessed by NICE and those which are recognised as effective will be made available within 6 months of referral
- The manifesto promises to give patients more rights and control over their healthcare with the right to choose from any provider that meets NHS standards of quality and the right to choose and book outpatient appointments
- The guarantee that patients receive treatment within 18 weeks of seeing a GP will remain in place
- All hospitals will become foundation trusts by giving those that already have the status new support and incentives to take over others that are underperforming
- A National Care Service will be established to improve the way care is provided to the elderly and disabled
The manifesto can be found here: http://www2.labour.org.uk/manifesto-splash
Luther Pendragon's election bulletin for members of Cancer Campaigning Group (CCG)