Jeff Smith, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Manchester Withington, has today welcomed Labour’s ambitious pledges to improve our people’s health and well being.
The party has announced plans to revitalise healthcare in the UK – including delivering a £26bn funding boost to the NHS. This comes on top of recent pledges to create a Sure Start centre in every community, and invest in young people’s mental health in schools.
Today, Labour has pledged 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.
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 in the first place.
This comes alongside Labour’s pledge earlier this week to reverse the Conservatives’ cuts to Sure Start and open 1,000 new centres in England. The new generation of Sure Start centres – Sure Start Plus – will provide comprehensive support to new parents in every community in the country.
Labour have also committed to a comprehensive plan to boost young people’s mental health, including placing a qualified counsellor in every school.
One in eight 5 – 19 year olds were diagnosed with at least one mental health disorder in 2017, with an estimated 95% of teachers believing they have taught a child experiencing anxiety.
Labour has pledged an additional £845 million per year for a Healthy Young Minds plan which will:
- Establish a network of open access mental health hubs to enable 300,000 more children to access mental health support directly.
- Recruit almost 3,500 qualified, on-site secondary school counsellors to ensure accessible pathways to mental health support.
- Ensure access to a qualified counsellor for every primary school in Britain to ensure early prevention and identification of psychological issues.
- Work to develop and publish a cross-departmental national strategy to better address adverse childhood experiences and childhood trauma.
“For almost 10 years, the Tories and the Lib Dems in coalition have devastated our world class NHS with cuts and privatisation. I’ve heard from many people in south Manchester about the impact this has had: sick people on lengthy waiting lists, a lack of bed spaces, and people seeking mental health support being left unable to access suitable treatments, or told they are not sick enough to receive help.
“I’m pleased that Labour has an ambitious plan to rebuild our health service and ensure that everyone can access the quality care that they deserve. I also particularly welcome our commitment to investing in early intervention, with Sure Start centres and young people’s mental health. This is a much-needed measure to tackle health inequalities, and prioritises young people’s health and wellbeing. Investing in early intervention is not only the right thing to do – it also saves money in the long term.
“After a decade of failure, we desperately need a Labour government to transform our NHS and invest in the health of our children and families.”