The NHS was one of the proudest achievements of the Labour Party and it is has always fallen to Labour to preserve and strengthen it.
I believe passionately in our NHS and its founding principle that it should be free at the point of use. In Parliament, I have consistently voted against any measures that would see a significant increase in the role of the private sector in our NHS.
As the Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, I will take the lead in tackling health inequalities in our city region by bringing together the NHS, local authorities and other public agencies to give people a more integrated health and care service with a single point of contact for all their care needs.
In terms of the future funding of the NHS, this is a vital issue that we need to get right. The Government’s approach has been one of pointless reorganisation and reductions in the provision of services.
Labour is the party of the NHS. Under the next Labour Government we will deliver an additional £30 billion over the lifetime of the Parliament to properly fund services. We are committed to ending the ‘Sustainability and Transformation Plans’ (known as STPs) which are privatisation by stealth of vital public services. We will repeal the disastrous Health and Social Care Act 2012 that puts profit before patients. And we will end excess profit being made at the expense of patient care.
Clearly, this will require higher levels of revenue. But that revenue should not be a burden on the lowest paid and hardest working. Labour will instead ask the richest 5% of earners to pay a little bit more in income tax; whilst also increasing taxes on private medical insurance schemes and cutting the fees paid to management consults.
The NHS is the jewel in the crown of our public services. It is crucially important that we take the steps to ensure its sustainability for future generations.