Monday, 16 March 2015

20,000 more nurses for a 21st century NHS

I am proud to be backing Labour's plans to recruit 20,000 more nurses by 2020, including 3,200 in the North West.

Under this Tory-led government, nurse numbers have failed to keep pace with demand while more than half of nurses say their ward is dangerously understaffed. Unlike the Tories, Labour will protect the NHS and ensure we have a health service ready to meet future challenges.

That's why the next Labour government will provide these much-needed extra nurses. They will help ensure safe staffing in hospitals and provide personalised care outside hospitals – helping us to transform services so the NHS can meet the care needs of the 21st century.

These extra nurses will be funded through the Time to Care Fund – raised from a mansion tax on properties over £2m, cracking down on tax avoidance and a new levy on tobacco firms.

The NHS is in crisis under the Tories. The NHS as we know it cannot survive another five years of David Cameron. If we want a world-class NHS then we need enough nurses with the time to care for patients. Labour's plans would mean 3,200 new nurses for our area – the highest increase outside of London.

I would like to echo the words of Andy Burnham, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary, who said this week:

"David Cameron has brought the NHS to the brink. There are too few staff on our wards, the bill for agency nurses is out of control and hospitals are forced to travel overseas to recruit nurses because of Cameron's cuts to nurse training places."

"This will help build an NHS with time to care, that starts in people's homes, ends the scandal of 15-minute visits and helps keep people out of hospital."