- Five per cent pay rise will be funded by new money
- Law changes to introduce safe staffing limits to the NHS and enshire agenda for change in legislation
- Creation of a National Care Service for England to solve the social care crisis
Labour has promised a 5 per cent pay rise to NHS staff next year in its 2019 election manifesto.
The document said: “Labour will restore public sector pay to at least pre-financial crisis levels (in real terms), by delivering year-on-year above-inflation pay rises, starting with a 5 per cent increase, to reward and retain the people who do so much for us all.”
It has confirmed it will provide new money to deliver on this promise and the NHS will not be expected to fund this through the extra cash already announced by the party.
Labour has said this pay rise would mean a newly qualified nurse’s annual pay will rise by £1,211, and a junior doctor’s starting salary will increase by £1,384.
It is still not clear, however, if all NHS staff will be included in this promise.
The party also committed to enshrining “agenda for change terms and conditions into law alongside safe staffing limits for all”. Wales and Scotland have already introduced safe staffing laws and the Royal College of Nursing has been campaigning for on to be introduced into England.
However, critics of that plan are concerned the NHS workforce does not currently have the capacity to meet such requirements.
It is also unclear what reform Labour intends to bring to agenda for change as the government is already legally bound to deliver on these contracts. It may intend to extend the agenda to cover more staff.
The manifesto also said it would “ensure [NHS] services are delivered in-house and bring subsidiary companies back in-house”.
The manifesto promised to review the current tax and pension changes that are currently causing havoc to NHS consultant staffing levels. It said it wants to ensure that “the workforce is fairly rewarded and that services are not adversely affected” but gave no further details on how it would achieve this.
As expected, Labour wants to “reverse privatisation” in the NHS as well as repeal the Health and Social Care Act. It continues to assert that the integrated care plans are a “cover” to “further entrench the private sector delivery of health care” and promises instead to coordinate care “through public bodies”.
Other promises included:
- Funding increase to the NHS of by an average of 4.3 per cent a year;
- The creation of a National Care Service for England to solve the social care crisis;
- Investing £2bn to modernise mental health hospital facilities and end the use of inappropriate, out-of-area placements;
- An infrastructure plan to return NHS England to the international average level of capital investment, and “halting the fire sale of NHS land and assets”;
- A £1bn investment in public health to recruit 4,500 more health visitors and school nurses;
- Establishing a generic drug company so that if “fair prices” are rejected for patented drugs it can use the Patents Act provisions and other work arounds to secure access to generic versions;
- Expanding GP training places to provide resources for 27 million more appointments each year;
- Ensuring NHS data is not exploited by international technology and pharmaceutical corporations; and
- A carbon neutral NHS by creating an NHS Forest of one million trees and greater reliance on renewable energy including a transition to electric paramedic vehicles, NHS fleet cars and hybrid ambulances
Labour 2019 election manifesto
21 November 2019