Progress | Centre-left Labour politics

An NHS with the time to care

A better plan for a better future – Five parliamentary candidates present Labour’s five pledges to Britain

20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs. We will join up services from home to hospital, guaranteeing GP appointments within 48 hours and cancer tests within one week

People in Lincoln see our local NHS services are extremely strained – GP appointments are difficult to come by, operations are being cancelled and County Hospital has been on ‘black alert’ with an A&E at crisis point and a shortage of beds. There is widespread recognition that we badly need to restore our NHS to health and a real sense of anger at this government for its wasteful reorganisation and its pernicious back-door privatisation. The problem, like the Tories’ NHS agenda, is painfully obvious. Residents I speak to know where the blame lies; what they want to hear from Labour are the solutions – and that the solutions are workable and costed.

As I am sure is the case around the country, Labour’s ‘Time to Care’ plan is rightly very popular with the voters. More doctors, nurses, midwives and homecare workers would make a real difference to our hospital, where staff are currently overstretched. Equally, a guaranteed GP appointment within 48 hours, or sooner if needed, is precisely the kind of very simple, clear policy which speaks directly to the frustration many here are currently experiencing.

As well as these more immediate fixes, Labour’s plan to join up health and social care services also meets with approval. People want to know that their NHS is preparing for the future; a future with an increasingly elderly population and one in which preventative care is key. Labour’s plan to integrate home and hospital care does exactly that.


Lucy Rigby is parliamentary candidate for Lincoln


All articles from the Election 2015 Doorstep Guide are available here

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Lucy Rigby

is parliamentary candidate for Lincoln


  • The fact that the NHS has been allowed by the media to be used as a political football frightens me.

    The NHS should NEVER be a win or lose situation for the British public – to base their political votes on. Like a business – managing ‘public’ funds and securing BEST practice – the NHS should be based on fixed-costs that are measured over a period of annual scrutiny of policies and practices. Like a business that has to ensure good financial management, the break-even point of the NHS may rise or fall, but it will always be scrutinised as it continues to be funded by the tax-payer.

    Thus, at General Elections politicians – eager to gain POWER – should be scrutinised for what they are going to do to improve Upwards Social Mobility, promote an Aspirations Nation and harness the skills and Talent – leading to a more productive workforce, small business growth and overall economic development. That being said, where are the questions aimed at the Work Programme, where is the scrutiny of aimed at those hard working job-seekers amid the political slogan of ‘hard working people?’

    What a SHAME the Labour party is matching TORY slogan by ONLY referring to ‘hard working people’ – as if those desperate job seekers are not working hard – stressfully on a daily basis!! Has the Labour party forgotten its ROOTS??

    A low turnout for voting would mean to many that their voices has, again, failed to be harnessed by the strong and powerful media. So, in protest, why vote?

    After all, would you buy something that doesn’t appeal to you in any way?

  • As someone waiting for an operation hanging over my head like the Sword of Damocles, and having to put my life on hold because I have no idea when it is likely to be, there are so many aspects of care in the NHS that are wrong and could be put right with no expense whatsoever. Outpatient waiting times, for instance. No hospital I have ever visited (and I have been to a few, some on my own behalf and some as part of my work as an interpreter/translator) has notices showing out-patients how long waiting times are likely to be. Some departments, frightened that they will have gaps if patients do not turn up, call everyone to attend at the same time! My waiting times at hospital (including for the eight weeks of radiotherapy) have varied from 0 to two and a half hours! And that is in the same hospital! Occasionally there are good reasons for long waits, and if there are then the waiting patients need to be informed. In the case of the two-and-a-half hour wait there was no explanation – and no justification. It amounts to sheer disrespect for patients and it is shameful.

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