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'Labour will repeal Health and Social Care Act'

'Labour will repeal Health and Social Care Act'

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The Labour party has pledged to “repeal” the Health and Social Care Act if they are brought into power in the upcoming general election. 

Speaking at the Labour party conference, Ed Miliband blamed the current coalition government for “privatising and fragmenting the NHS,” adding that the health service is “not safe in their hands”. 

Miliband proposed an additional £2.5 billion in funding to support an additional 20,000 nurses, 8,000 GPs, 5,000 care workers and 3,000 more midwives by 2020. 

In his speech Miliband said that Labour would deliver a truly integrated service for physical health, mental health and care for the elderly. 

According to him, the NHS would become a money-saving organisation under their guidance. 

He said: “The NHS is sliding backwards under this government. They are privatising and fragmenting it. Just think what it would be like after five more years of this government. 

 “The NHS is currently creaking. One in four people wait a week or more for a GP appointment. We have seen the scandal of care visits restricted to just 15 minutes for the elderly. It is time to care about the NHS so that doctors, nurses, care workers, midwives are able to spend proper time with us – and not to be rushed off their feet.”

“It is not safe in their hands. We built the NHS, we saved the NHS, we will repeal the Health and Social Care Act and we will transform the NHS for the future.” 

The additional funding would come from a levy on tobacco companies, a £1.1 billion clampdown on tax avoidance and a mansion tax on properties worth more than £2 million. 

But Chris Ham, chief executive of healthcare thinktank The King’s Fund said that the proposed schemes “will not fill the growing funding gap.” 

He said: “Today’s announcement is a significant step forward but we will need to see Labour’s spending plans in full before we know whether they will be enough to meet the funding gap. 

“Ed Miliband’s announcement shows politicians are now acknowledging the scale of the financial problem facing health and social care. Labour’s commitment to transform the way care is delivered, not just to focus on the immediate funding crisis, is welcome and points towards putting health and social care on a sustainable footing in the future.” 

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the British Medical Association’s GP committee said: "We are already working with NHS England on the best way to create the right environment to make general practice an attractive and rewarding career and whoever is in government next year needs to make this a priority. 

"With the NHS facing a perfect storm of rising demand and a £30bn funding shortfall, patients and the public need to see a detailed, meaningful plan from politicians on how they will create a sustainable infrastructure and capacity in general practice to deliver on current and future needs." 

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