Corbyn joins campaign as actvists mobilise across Britain to care for the NHS
LABOUR launched a “Care for the NHS” campaign at the weekend with hundreds of stalls and petitions across the country.
Party members mobilised on Saturday to expose the Tories’ covert dismantlement and privatisation of the NHS.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn launched a campaign poster pointing out that the number of people on hospital waiting lists has hit 3.9 million.
He said: “The Conservatives are failing our health service, which has been pushed into financial crisis and soaring deficits.
“Patients are facing longer waits, with hospitals overcrowded, understaffed and threatened with closure. Labour will stand up for the NHS.
“We will always make sure the NHS has the funding it needs and will join up services from home to hospital with a properly integrated health and social care service.
“Labour created the NHS to care for us all — now it’s time to care for the NHS.”
The campaign was launched as councils warned that Britain faced a social care crisis.
More than half — 77 out of 152 — of councils tasked with elderly care have had at least one residential and nursing care provider closed in the last six months.
NHS Confederation chairman Stephen Dorrell said he was “very disappointed” that Chancellor Philip Hammond did not mention social care in his Autumn Statement last week.
For shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth, the Autumn Statement was proof that for the Tories “the NHS is always at the back of the queue.”
He said: “It’s jaw-dropping that when the NHS is facing the biggest financial squeeze in its history — when waiting lists are at four million, when A&Es are in crisis — that the Autumn Statement contained not a single penny piece of extra investment for social care and the NHS.
“Instead, the Conservatives have ignored the chorus of voices pleading for them to address the mess they’ve created in social care with cuts to budgets of £4.5 billion.
“Thousands more older and disabled people face being left without access to services.”
In West Yorkshire’s Calder Valley, the constituency Labour Party ran stalls in Hebden Bridge, Sowerby Bridge, Mytholmroyd and Brighouse.
Speaking to the Star, one volunteer warned that NHS staff feel they cannot talk about what is going on in their hospitals for fear of being sacked or disciplined.