Keir Starmer will pledge to end the NHS bed lockdown crisis by boosting the care sector as he blames the £1.7bn bill for 13 years of Conservative failure.
- Labor will commit to boosting the care sector so that people can receive home care
- But Keir Starmer will tell his party he won’t ‘put the NHS on a pedestal’
The party said there were more than 4.7 million cases in the 12 months to March 2023.
Sir Keir Starmer will pledge tomorrow to tackle the NHS bed lockdown crisis amid fresh claims that keeping patients in hospital beds they don’t need cost at least £1.7bn last year.
Blaming the ‘stunning bill’ on 13 years of failure by the Conservatives, Labor will instead pledge to boost the care sector ‘so people can be cared for in the comfort of their own home’.
But in launching Labour’s health mission, Sir Keir will tell his party he will not ‘put the NHS on a pedestal’, warning that along with more money, fundamental reform is also needed.
Party sources said it was a warning to Labor traditionalists that greater use of the private sector was required to address NHS treatment backlogs.
Last night, Tory Party Chairman Greg Hands responded by saying that “Keir Starmer’s nonsensical remarks will do nothing to reduce waiting lists” and insisted that “only the Tories are complying with patients”.
Sir Keir Starmer to pledge tomorrow to tackle the NHS bed lockdown crisis (file image)
However, in a scathing verdict on the conservative administration of the NHS, Labor yesterday published new figures on the scale of so-called “delayed discharges” in England, where patients are unable to leave hospital because care was not available in the community.
According to NHS statistics, Sir Keir’s party said there were more than 4.7 million cases of bed blocking in the 12 months to March 2023, with an average of one in seven NHS beds occupied by patients who they expected to be sent home.
That number also contributed to record waits for ambulances and at A&E departments last winter, Labor said.
He admitted that the government had spent a further £750m on a delayed discharge fund over the winter, but claimed that much of the cash had not reached the NHS frontline until January.
By committing to combat the problem, Labor is now committed to improving care and increasing capacity by training an additional 7,500 doctors and 10,000 more nurses a year.
It would also provide a new deal for care workers to help deal with a record 165,000 care job openings through better rights at work, fair wages, and proper training.
Plans to reduce “dangerous” wait times for the A&E department will also be announced.
Speaking at the launch of his NHS reform plans tomorrow, Sir Keir will say the health service has played a huge role in his life, recalling that “my mother was a nurse, proud to be a nurse, but she was also seriously ill from most of his life’.
According to NHS statistics, Sir Keir’s party said there were more than 4.7 million cases of bed blocking in the 12 months to March 2023 (file image)
But you’ll notice that improving it wasn’t just a matter of money.
He will say: ‘If all we do in the Labor Party is put the NHS on a pedestal and leave it there, that’s not enough.’
But Hands likened Labour’s “just shouting from the sidelines” to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s promise to reduce NHS waiting lists as one of his five priorities by 2023.