Britain’s best-loved institution is in crisis. The founding of the NHS in 1948 was a victory for the people but, sixty years on, it is the NHS itself that needs emergency care and nursing back to health.
Our ageing population; the dramatic increase in the numbers of people suffering chronic, long-term conditions; uncontrolled immigration, encouraged by Labour and continued under the Tories: any one of these pressures might have been enough to bring the NHS close to breaking point. Combine these with EU directives that have prevented essential training and endless political interference and it is not difficult to understand why the NHS is in serious trouble.
Both Labour and the Tories have utterly failed our NHS by treating it as a political football instead of a cherished institution.
Patients are suffering because of poor policy, made all too often purely for reasons of political expediency. A GP appointment can no longer be guaranteed within any reasonable time frame. Coalition cuts to social care budgets are forcing elderly people to stay in hospital for longer than they should because there is no after-care available for them. Top-down targets forced on Accident and Emergency departments are not realistic; even some of the best hospitals cannot cope.
Despite a chronic shortage of doctors, nurses and midwives, David Cameron’s government wasted billions on a top-down reorganisation he promised would not happen. Labour, which squandered money on financing capital projects at credit card rates through private finance initiatives and giving service contracts worth billions of pounds to private companies when they were in power, are now promising to repeal the Health and Social Care Act, meaning yet more billions will be wasted re-organising the NHS all over again. Both parties administered a disastrous £12 billion NHS IT project which ultimately failed.
UKIP will take better care of taxpayers’ money. We will put an additional £3 billion a year into the NHS in England by the end of the parliament and make sure the money is spent on frontline patient care. We will provide the common sense, the money, the staff, the social care funding and the vital improvements to emergency medicine that the NHS needs.