Labour to overhaul Tories' NHS structural reforms, says Jon Ashworth

Posted On: 
2nd June 2018

Labour will carry out a wholesale restructure of the NHS if it wins power at the next general election, the Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth has said.

Labour's Shadow Health Secretary promised to banish privatisation within the NHS as he described the current structures as "not fit for purpose".

In a wide-ranging consultation, the party will lay out how it will dismantle the reforms brought in under the controversial Health and Social Care Act of 2012, according to the Guardian

It comes as the government is in discussions over a funding increase as the health service approaches its 70thbirthday.

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“In the past Labour has said it would work within existing structures,” Ashworth said. 

“But these structures are not fit for purpose, over the coming months I want to consult on how we move to an NHS based on partnership and planning where privatisation is banished and we restore a universal public NHS.

“It’s my intention that the next Labour government should bring forward legislation to reinstate the NHS, so that the fragmented structure and Health and Social Care Act will be swept away under the next Labour government.”

Theresa May is expected to announce a funding boost for the NHS. The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt wants a 4%-a-year increases for the rest of the parliament but the Chancellor Philip Hammond has argued for a more modest annual increase of 2.5%. 

But Ashworth said the Conservatives' reforms created greater waste and privatisation. 

“The truth is the Health and Social Care Act combined with Thatcher’s internal market have led to billions wasted, greater privatisation and fragmentation,” he said.

“And yet the delivery of healthcare in the future where whole person care is the expectation depends on greater collaboration and integration at a local level of social care, primary and community care, mental health services in partnership with the acute sector.”