Get out and vote Labour
LABOUR will save A&E departments pushed to the brink of closure by Tory cuts, shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth pledged yesterday.
The party would kick off an urgent review of closures and halt STP cuts plans — dubbed “slash, trash and privatise” — for hospitals in England in their tracks.
Overseeing the review — under a new body called NHS Excellence — would be his first job as health secretary, Mr Ashworth promised.
Health bosses have drawn up STPs in secret, with the plans typically involving redundancies, fewer beds, funding cuts and the downgrading and privatisation of services.
The British Medical Association estimates that the 44 local STPs will result in £22 billion in cuts to NHS and council services by 2021.
Last winter’s NHS crisis was caused by hospitals and councils being forced to do “more and more with less and less,” especially with adult social care being all but wiped out across England due to local authority cuts, Mr Ashworth said.
The shadow health secretary boldly pledged: “We will have a moratorium on the STPs.
“We have listened to the hundreds of patients and campaigners up and down the country that have been pleading with the government to hear their concerns about their local services.
“Threats of hospitals being closed, A&E services moved miles up the road and children’s wards being shut have caused widespread concern and confusion.