Analysis Breaking News

Labour to hire 24,000 new nurses as part of £26bn investment

Labour announces £26bn real terms Rescue Plan to deliver real change in our health service. The party of the NHS is still the only party who can protect and restore the NHS

The Labour party is today pledging to end the Tory NHS crisis with a £26bn real-terms healthcare funding boost to provide safe, quality care, recruit the thousands of staff needed, rebuild crumbling facilities and provide modern state of the art equipment. This is over £6bn in real terms more than the funding announced by the Tories last year.

Unveiling the party’s vision in a speech on Wednesday at 1 Wimpole street, the home of The Royal Society of Medicine, Jonathan Ashworth and John McDonnell will announce an annual average 4.3 per cent funding increase for health spending over the next four years, funded from Labour’s proposals to reverse corporation tax cuts and taxing the richest in society.

The rescue plan includes NHS capital expenditure rising to the international average, £1 billion a year training and education budgets and £1 billion more to fund a major expansion of public health services, with a focused drive on prevention measures to stop people getting sick as part of Labour’s mission to tackle health inequalities and prioritise children’s health and wellbeing.

The funding plan comes as experts warn the NHS is heading into one of the worst winters ever with hospitals already reporting ‘black alerts’ with heart-breaking scenes of often-elderly patients languishing on trolleys.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell will say:

The world-class health service we all need and depend on needs proper funding.

Labour’s policies to tax the richest in society and invest for the future through our Social Transformation Fund mean we will be able to improve millions of lives.

And ending privatisation means that money can be spent on healthcare rather than dividends for Boris Johnson’s friends in the private healthcare industry.

Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth is expected to say:

A decade of Tory underfunding and cuts has driven our NHS into year round crisis. Over 15,000 beds have been cut, hospitals are crumbling and our NHS is chronically short of nurses and family doctors.

Just last week we all were shocked by the heart-breaking image of an 88 year old woman, left languishing for hours and hours on a trolley in a hospital corridor.

With experts warning this winter is set to be one of the worst the truth is our NHS is crying out for a financial rescue plan to deliver real change for patients.

We are announcing today the levels of investment our NHS needs to not only again provide the quality care our sick and elderly deserve but secures the NHS for the future as well. We’ll invest more to prevent people becoming ill in the first place and we’ll give mental health and wellbeing a greater priority than ever before.

This general election is about millions on waiting list and hundreds of thousands who’ve waited on trolleys under the Tories – only Labour has a plan to rescue our NHS.

To ensure quality care in both physical and mental health, Labour’s NHS Rescue Plan will mean:

  • increasing the total Department of Health and Social Care budget to £178bn in 2023-24 – an average annual increase of 4.3%
  • increasing the NHS England resource budget to £154.9 billion in 2023-24 to restore constitutional standards on waiting times and access, including ensuring 95 per cent of patients are treated within 18 weeks, improve A&E performance and radically improve cancer survival rates;
  • a real terms increase of £26bn for day-to-day NHS spending from 2018-19 to 2023-24 – the period over which the Conservatives have promised £20bn
  • a guarantee of greater priority for mental health and wellbeing than ever before with an extra £1.6 billion NHS spending per year to fund counselling services for schools, community mental health hubs for young people, invest in community services for severe mental illness and ensure high quality liaison and 24/7 crisis care for people living with poor mental health
  • Free prescriptions and car parking, the costs of which are not included in these figures.
  • Protecting the NHS from Boris Johnson’s sell out Brexit deal with Donald Trump which risks funneling £500 million per week out of the NHS to big drugs companies

To rebuild the NHS, Labour’s NHS Rescue Plan will:

  • increase NHS capital budgets by £15 billion over a Parliament to rebuild NHS hospitals and community facilities and clear the maintenance backlog, funded from Labour’s Social Transformation Fund
  • deliver a Green New Deal for our NHS so every trust can to reduce its carbon footprint can get it
  • provide a new £2 billion strategic mental health infrastructure fund to abolish dormitory wards and make every inpatient setting safe for patients, invest in more beds to end out of area placements and roll out a fleet of crisis ambulances
  • invest an extra £2.5 billion to overhaul the primary care estate so that GPs can deliver better local care in their communities
  • provide an extra £1.5 billion to increase the numbers of CT and MRI scanners to the OECD average to radically improve diagnostic capacity and improve cancer outcomes
  • invest further in digital, AI and to ensure transformation of services for the future.

24,000 extra nurses and 27 million more GP appointments

For NHS staff Labour’s NHS Rescue Plan will:

  • invest £1 billion in restoring a training bursary for nurses and Continuing Professional Development to help recruit 24,000 extra nurses as well as extra midwives and allied health professionals
  • expand GP training places to 5000 to create 27 million more appointments with family doctors
  • invest in mental health support for NHS staff

For public health services Labour’s NHS Rescue Plan will:

  • deliver a £1 billion increase in the annual Public Health budget including an extra £100 million for addiction services, an extra £100 million for obesity services, an extra £100 million for public mental health services, £75 million for sexual health services, an extra £75 million for 0-5 services and more investment in smoking cessation services
  • invest in the public health nurse workforce delivering an extra 4,800 health visitors and school nurses.

The details

Labour’s funding plan would deliver:

  • a real terms increase of £26bn (£40bn in cash terms) from 2018-19 to 2023-24 – the period over which the Conservatives promised £20bn more
  • an additional £15bn increase in capital budgets from Labour’s Social Transformation Fund of £150bn over five years
  • a 4.3 per cent average growth in overall healthcare spending

The Tories are missing key performance targets month after month:

  • in August there were 4.41 million people on the waiting list in England, the highest on record – this target hasn’t been met since February 2016
  • last year there were 2.9 million people waiting longer than four hours in A&E and the four hour A&E waiting time target hasn’t been met since July 2015
  • the 62-day cancer waiting-time target hasn’t been met since December 2015 and last year there were over 34,000 people waiting longer than 62 days to start cancer treatment
    (Source: NHS England, Combined Performance Summary)

Capital expenditure

  • earlier this year, the Labour Party released research highlighting the crumbling state of our hospitals. The research revealed ward ceilings falling in, sewage pipes bursting treatment and surgery delayed
  • the UK has some of the lowest numbers of MRI and CT scanners and per head and the NHS is failing to meet its targets on diagnostics
  • recent data published by NHS Digital shows that the repair bill (backlog maintenance) in the NHS now stands at £6.5 billion, up from £6bn last year
  • £3.4 billion of the repair bill is classed as “high or significant risk”.
  • NHS Capital Budget – that funds investment in buildings, beds, equipment and IT – is lower today in real terms than 2010/11. The Tories have repeatedly cut capital budgets in total over £4 billion in recent years through ‘smash and grab’ raids to transfer money to the day to day running of the NHS. The repair bill is compromising patient care. Labour research has revealed ward ceilings falling in, sewage pipes bursting treatment and surgery delayed. We have some of the lowest numbers of MRI and CT scanners and per head and the NHS is failing to meet its targets on diagnostics. Source: NHS Digital Estates Return Information Collection (ERIC) 2018/19, Table 10

Only Labour can be trusted with the future of the NHS for the whole UK.

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  1. BRILLIANT JUST BRILLIANT , it gets better and better , can’t wait for the full manifesto to come out ,,,,, it’s going tobe a hum dinger !!

  2. Apologies, but I just HAVE to post this!

    The following are a couple of excerpts from Jonathan Cook’s latest post. It’s a lengthy article, but well worth reading (and please share as widely as possible):

    Anti-semitism band-wagon rolled out again

    That the anti-semitism claims are slurs has been demonstrated over and over again. But paradoxically the latest refutation came last week from the corporate elite’s house journal, the Economist – though, of course, it was not presented that way .

    The magazine published a new survey of British public opinion showing that an ideological group it labelled as “very left wing” – presumably the people who share Corbyn’s views – were among the least likely to hold anti-semitic opinions, even though they also had by far the most critical views of Israel (an outlook the Economist mischievously termed “highly anti-Israel”).

    In other words, those people on the left who firmly oppose Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians were unlikely also to harbour anti-Jewish views. The great majority could clearly distinguish between Israel and Jews, and did not hold Jews responsible for the crimes committed by the state of Israel.


    [Alastair] Campbell, a man whose anti-Muslim, anti-Arab prejudices permitted him to help lay waste to another country on an entirely bogus pretext, and whose reputation in the corporate media suffered not a whit as a result, decided to use the interview to try to revive the Corbyn anti-semitism smears and undermine Labour’s chances of winning the election. Like other Blairites, Campbell has been an outspoken critic of Corbyn, even going public with the fact that he has started voting for the Lib Dems.

    He asked his interviewee, John Bercow, the outgoing Speaker of the House of Commons and a Jewish member of the Conservative party, to comment on Corbyn and the anti-semitism allegations. Campbell’s transparent aim was to recruit Bercow to the smear campaign – both as a Jew and as someone who has come to be widely trusted since becoming House Speaker as an arbiter of an even-handed politics.

    Bercow’s response was not what Campbell hoped for. The former Speaker answered cautiously, but observed: “I myself have never experienced anti-semitism from a member of the Labour party … I do not myself believe Jeremy Corbyn is anti-semitic … I have known him for the 22 years I have been in parliament … and I have never detected so much as a whiff of anti-semitism from him.”

    Campbell’s face could barely conceal his disappointment.

  3. My reservation about the 24,000 is the denuding of health services of poorer countries.
    I recognise the advantage to foreign healthcare staff of gaining experience in the UK, and the eventual advantage to their own countries – and I also understand the urgency of the NHS’ need for trained staff now.
    More emphasis on massively expanded training in Britain please – including the training of foreign students and doctors both here and abroad for the benefit of their countries not ours – is all I’d ask.
    We have the ability to export excellence in healthcare education and we should do more – and we should do it for free.

    1. Thinking about it a little more I wonder if each fully trained nurse from another country being accompanied by a companion/trainee – fully funded including maintenance grant by the UK as we would fund any British student – but specifically charged with returning home for a period agreed with the home country once qualified – might avoid the benefit being exclusively to the UK and at the same time avoid the whiff of imperialism.
      It would be costly, but perhaps not prohibitively so if we re-prioritise other calls on the exchequer.

      As a nation dedicated to peace having no foreign interests beyond fair trade the savings on not replacing Trident would be huge. With no foreign ambitions invading us for territorial gain would be the only likely cause of war – and it would be doubly insane to use nuclear weapons against a nation one wished to occupy.
      A well-trained citizen army genuinely for defence of home soil only and with only disaster relief duties abroad is not expensive.
      I strongly believe that today’s acknowledgement of the insanity and criminality of using nuclear weapons – and our new insight into the more pressing dangers to us – is enough for the UK to lead the way and ‘risk’ unilateral disarmament.
      The fear of mutually assured destruction that was a brake on their use fifty years ago would cut no ice with those who wish to hurt us today anyway.

  4. I share Mr McNivens reservations,it feels somehow like imperialism. Better to produce our own nurses,improve retention and stop the use of agency staff. These measures would require a big improvement in pay and conditions but I could find no mention of that in the document. For years we have relied on nurses ,mostly female,accepting low pay out of a sense of duty and to follow a calling. I feel times have changed and being called an angel is no substitute for a decent days pay. Nurses having to use food banks tells us how much society values public service.

  5. David and Jim – Your points about nursing are well made. The other issue concerning staff is that of the resource pool available and the time lag required for training (even more so for doctors). It’s not like just turning on a tap, and I am a bit concerned that a list of intentions without timescales and priorities is asking for trouble in terms of generating initial scepticism and later dissatisfactions.

    This isn’r cold water – these are real dangers in this bidding war with the Tories – even if the basic intention and substance is sound. Prioritization needs to be thoroughly analysed, discussed and planned with health professionals – for instance, waiting time targets (as with most ‘targets’)are not always what they seem.

  6. The class struggle is over & social mobility for the down trodden is an aspiration promised in the 1960s, but never attained. Universities are Private businesses ever expanding to include staff & students from abroad; but not from poorer ares.
    Far easier to ‘cherry pick’ staff from emerging nations; saves time & money as the ‘Liberal Elite’ congratulate themselves on their ‘Liberal’ credentials by employing ready made staff from abroad & once again slamming the door in the face of working class kids, while shinning their ‘Neo-Liberal’ badge.

  7. Clear path from care worker to qualified nurse for those for whom caring is a vocation
    For the too posh to wash degree qualified nurse, a clear path to Nurse Practitioner and plastic doctor status at a third of the price,
    Even though in certain areas they are better qualified where they have specialised
    Forget Universal Income, reform UC, cancel Trident, HS2, Hinckly and reverse Tory tax cuts,
    My worry is we appear to be avoiding the hard decisions

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