We support fundamental reform of the NHS to restore it along the lines that it used to be run: as a provider of free healthcare administered efficiently at the local, regional and national levels. We believe that doctors and nurses should have the biggest say in how hospitals are run, not cost-cutting bureaucrats that have wasted billions on irresponsible PFI contracts and the NHS ‘internal market’. By returning to a culture of order and care rather than marketization, tackling abuses like health tourism and stopping frivolous spending on things like cosmetic surgery, we would restore the NHS as a provider of high quality patient care.
Re-instate the Tripartite System (Hospital Services, Primary Care, Community Services)
We would re-instate the 'tripartite' system that was in place from the creation of the NHS until 1974, which decentralised responsibility for community services such as maternity and child welfare clinics to local authorities and ensured strong coverage of local and regional services across the country. The centralising trend seen from the introduction of Regional Health Authorities to today's 'superhospitals' has diminished patient care and must be reversed.
Abolish the NHS 'Internal Market'
We would repeal the 1990 NHS and Community Care Act, which introduced the NHS market where health authorities buy healthcare from local providers and the state functions merely as an 'enabler' and not as a supplier of healthcare. This costly internal market caused a boom in managers and bureaucracy and a reduction in patient care standards, and it is estimated that getting rid of them would save anywhere from £5-30bn a year in costs.
Prohibit PFI Contracts
We would stop the use of PFI contracts to fund NHS projects, which prove to be extremely costly in the long-term, and were only ever a ploy by the government shift the cost of NHS projects out of their borrowing figures.
We would re-establish the role of Matron as the chief overseer of a hospital, who would be responsible for ensuring effective patient care and for all the nurses and domestic staff within the hospital. As nurses with personal experience of caring for patients and fulfilling nursing duties, they are far better placed than bureaucratic managers to run a hospital in a way that ensures patients are treated well and standards are maintained.
Reinstate State Enrolled Nurses
This position which was created in the 1940s and phased out in the 90s, allowed nurses to train be trained directly through work in hospitals without the full graduate qualifications of a State Registered Nurse. Reinstating this position would help fill staff shortages which are particularly pronounced in the care sector, where State Enrolled Nurses used to be focused.
Reinstate Bursaries for Nurses
These bursaries which helped with tuition and accommodation slots were removed under the previous government. We support their restoration to help meet the growing demand for nurses in the NHS, which we are failing every year to meet.
Fund 20k Nurses, 8k GPs and 5k Homecare Workers
We would ensure funding for an extra 20,000 nurses, 8,000 GPs and 5,000 homecare workers to meet the growing demands placed on the NHS.
Scrap Prescription Charges Across the UK
Prescription charges have already been scrapped in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and in England exemptions cover a majority of patients. By making sensible savings elsewhere and ending abuse of the NHS, we can restore free prescriptions and save the bureaucracy of charges and exemptions.
Oppose Further Privatisation
We would ensure that the NHS continues to exist as a publicly-owned national health provider, and protect it from any further privatisation.
Make Drunk Patients Pay for A&E Treatment
Booze culture causes two million A&E visits a year, overwhelming the NHS on weekends. This abuses what the NHS was meant for, so we would introduce £50 fines for alcohol-related A&E treatments for casual binge drinkers. If even half of these fines were collected it would raise half a billion a year of vital NHS funds.
End Free Cosmetic Surgery & Travel Vaccines on NHS
We would end the abuse of the NHS for free, purely cosmetic surgery, and only allow cosmetic treatment in cases of genuine need, such as post-surgery reconstruction. A mandatory charge for required travel vaccines would also be introduced, saving millions each year.
End Health Tourism
Ending this unjust practice would save vital funds for British citizens in need of treatment, who unlike health tourists have paid their tax for the service.
Scrap Hospital Car Park Charges
We would end this unjust tax on the sick and their families which is currently levied in England and Northern Ireland, since the small revenue it raises can be easily recovered by tackling issues like health tourism.
Restore Free NHS Dental Treatment
Patient charges have caused a crisis in dental health and caused patients to delay or ignore basic treatment. This often results in more costly treatment becoming necessary later on, and wastes an estimated £26.4 million a year in GP appointments.