Time to put patients at the heart of the NHS

Labour have announced that a government in their hands would immediately halt the proposed closures of A&Es in England and carry out a full scale review of all proposals. 

Having listened to campaigners and concerned patients up and down the country, Labour’s health secretary Jonathan Ashworth has said he would immediately halt the Tories chaotic ‘sustainability and transformation plan’ (STP) programme.

“Labour will put the best interests of patients at the heart of our NHS. We will halt planned closures to hospitals and other services. We will have a moratorium on the STPs” he said.

The party has listened to hundreds of patients and campaigners up and down the country that have been pleading with the government to hear their concerns about their local services. Threats of hospitals being closed, A&E services moved miles up the road, and children’s wards being shut, have caused widespread concern and confusion across the nation.

What is more, these decisions have been decided behind closed doors, with no genuine involvement of local people.

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Cllr Stephen Morgan, Portsmouth’s Labour Leader and parliamentary candidate for Portsmouth South, said:

“Last year QA Hospital’s A&E departments spent 134 days on black alert – that’s nearly half the year. When this happens patient safety and care can be compromised. No wonder health workers are telling me our NHS is at breaking point.

The public deserves better. I welcome plans to review every single STP proposal to look at what’s in the interest of quality of patient care. This is a must in Portsmouth”.

Labour will ask a new body – NHS Excellence – to lead a review of current plans with patients and local communities involved at every stage.

Cllr Morgan added: “Local people should always be at the heart of decisions about how care is provided”.