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Healthcare leaders warn against Labour’s plans to ‘halt’ NHS transformation


By Carolyn Wickware
17 May 2017

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Healthcare leaders have warned the Labour Party against putting a ‘halt’ to regional proposals to overhaul health and social care, despite softening its stance on the plans.

In the party’s official manifesto, released yesterday, the Labour Party said they would ‘halt and review’ sustainability and transformation plans (STP).

Earlier this month Jonathan Ashworth, shadow health secretary, said Labour was planning to put a ‘moratorium’ on the plans.

Healthcare leaders have warned the Labour Party against putting a ‘halt’ to regional proposals to overhaul health and social care, despite softening its stance on the plans.

In the party’s official manifesto, released yesterday, the Labour Party said they would ‘halt and review’ sustainability and transformation plans (STP).

Earlier this month Jonathan Ashworth, shadow health secretary, said Labour was planning to put a ‘moratorium’ on the plans.

But the latest manifesto says that during a review of the STPs the party would ‘ask local people to participate in the redrawing of plans with a focus on patient need rather than available finances’.

However, Chris Ham, chief executive of The King’s Fund, said stopping the plan ‘risks holding back essential changes to services’.

He said: ‘Labour are right that there has so far not been nearly enough engagement with the public and patients and this needs to happen, but where the case for change has been made politicians should not stand in the way.’

The Labour Party also detailed plans to set up a National Care Service for England by increasing social care funding by £8bn during their time in parliament.   

The party said: ‘The National Care Service will be built alongside the NHS, with a shared requirement for single commissioning, partnership arrangements, pooled budgets and joint working arrangements.

‘We will build capacity to move quickly towards a joined-up service that will signpost users to all the appropriate services at the gateway through which they arrive.’

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