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Labour government will issue ‘moratorium’ on NHS restructuring plans


By Carolyn Wickware
3 May 2017

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Labour has announced plans to scrap regional proposals to overhaul health and social care across England if the party wins the general election next month.

Labour’s shadow health secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, said a future Labour Government would ‘immediately halt’ the closure of A&Es as laid out in some regional sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) as well as the STP programme itself.

By issuing a ‘moratorium on the STPs’, he said the party is putting ‘the best interests at the heart of the NHS’.

Labour has announced plans to scrap regional proposals to overhaul health and social care across England if the party wins the general election next month.

Labour’s shadow health secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, said a future Labour Government would ‘immediately halt’ the closure of A&Es as laid out in some regional sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) as well as the STP programme itself.

By issuing a ‘moratorium on the STPs’, he said the party is putting ‘the best interests at the heart of the NHS’.

The announcement comes after Labour said last week that they would remove the 1% pay cap on NHS workers and reverse cuts to student bursaries.

Mr Ashworth said: ‘We have listened to the 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.’

The shadow health secretary called it ‘a disgrace’ that these decision were made ‘behind closed doors’.

He added: ‘The public deserves better. My first job as Secretary of State will be to review every single STP proposal looking at what’s in the interest of quality of patient care.

Mr Ashworth proposed a new regulatory body – NHS Excellence – would lead the review of the STPs with patients and local communities ‘involved at every stage’.

NHS England has previously said that hospital closures would only be supported if they met several requirements based on patient care.

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