'We've done it before and we'll do it again', says Wes Streeting as he outlines how Labour will fix 'broken' NHS

29 May 2024, 12:39 | Updated: 29 May 2024, 12:43

Wes Streeting comforts caller whose mother died after waiting 11 hours for an ambulance

By Luke Jefferies

Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting has outlined how Labour will fix the "broken" NHS during an LBC call-in.

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Mr Streeting responded to a bereaved caller who lost his mother in July 2022.

The caller said that they waited 11 hours for an ambulance after his mother took a fall at home. She died two days later in hospital after an infection turned to sepsis.

When asked whether Labour would fix the "broken system that has hurt so many families" by giving the NHS more funding, Mr Streeting said: “It’s taken the Conservatives 14 years to break the NHS. It’s going to take some time for Labour to turn it around."

It comes as Sir Keir Starmer and Mr Streeting have detailed plans to cut NHS waiting lists on a visit to the West Midlands, warning that the current 7.54 million treatment backlog could soar to 10 million if the Tories stay in power.

Labour would create an extra 40,000 appointments, scans and operations each week during evenings and weekends and double the numbers of scanners.

“The NHS is not just on its knees it’s on its face”

Labour has said that, if elected, it would primarily focus on reducing treatment backlogs, which currently stand at 7.54 million.

The party has warned the backlog could soar above 10 million if the Conservatives are elected into office again.

Sir Keir said one of his government's first steps would be to create an additional 40,000 appointments, scans and operations each week during evenings and weekends.

The shadow secretary for health and social care went on to cite handovers between ambulances and hospitals as a significant factor causing delays, as well as the considerable number of patients going to A&E because they cannot get a GP appointment.

“So many people are going to A&E because they can't get a GP appointment or see someone in the community”, he stated.

“As well as training thousands more GPs, we are going to cut through the red tape that is holding them back.”

Mr Streeting added that many patients cannot leave the hospital, despite being well enough, because there is no care available in their home community, which requires doubling the number of qualified district nurses.

The Labour minister said that the "solution" does not lie in increasing the funding but improving the efficiency of where the money is spent.