Saturday, 3 August 2013


The recent Keogh review contained challenging but accurate picture of care standards and failings at 14 NHS trusts. We must, however, remember that the problems identified in these hospitals are not typical of the NHS or of the care given by NHS staff. We should seek to learn from this report and not use it to tarnish the many doctors, nurses and NHS staff who look after us in our NHS. The vast majority of doctors and nurses working in the NHS perform to a very high standard day in, day out, but everyone in the country will be worried that some hospitals are letting people down. Sir Bruce Keogh’s excellent and important report found “frequent examples of inadequate numbers of nursing staff”.

The Tories’ record on the NHS is shameful. David Cameron promised “I'll cut the deficit, not the NHS”. He assured nurses there would be no top-down reorganisations. He went round hospitals promising patients he would save A&Es from closure. And what happened? The deficit went up last year while over 4,000 nurses have been cut. £3 billion has been wasted on a top-down reorganisation. And A&E units David Cameron promised to save are closing down.

Labour on the other hand has a proud record on the NHS. We inherited a service on its knees in 1997 – with patients waiting literally years for operations, and crumbling hospitals which had been built before the NHS was founded in 1948. Labour rebuilt and reformed the NHS, with more nurses, more doctors, more operations, shorter waiting times and over 100 new hospitals