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Primary care a priority for Labour, says shadow health secretary

Primary care a priority for Labour, says shadow health secretary
House of Parliament Official Portrait of Wes Streeting

Primary care will be ‘at the heart’ of Labour’s plan for the NHS, according to shadow health secretary Wes Streeting.

Speaking at his party’s conference in Liverpool, Mr Streeting promised that a Labour government would ‘grip the immediate crisis in social care’ and deliver a ‘new deal’ for care workers.

His speech today set out proposals for a 10-year ‘national care service’ plan, targeting workforce recruitment and retention, and providing a fair pay agreement for care professionals.

The shadow health secretary also promised ‘the biggest expansion of NHS staff in history’, with ‘more doctors, more nurses, [and] more midwives’.

‘Labour will bring back the family doctor,’ said Mr Streeting. ‘We’ll train thousands more GPs and cut the red tape that ties up their time.’

The speech also highlighted mental health support for children as a priority for the Labour Party.

‘Every child struggling with their mental health should get the help they need,’ Mr Streeting said.

‘Labour will put mental health support in every school, and hubs in every community.’

Labour’s plan for the NHS includes £1.1bn of funding to deliver extra clinics at evenings and weekends.

Mr Streeting also made a commitment to providing ‘pioneering cutting edge treatment and technology, preventing ill-health, not just treating it’.

Christina McAnea, general secretary of the union Unison, commented that Labour’s plan to boost the workforce and provide extra equipment would help to ’kickstart the recovery process’ for the NHS.

She said: ‘Investment is also crucial if patient confidence in the NHS is to be rebuilt.

‘Labour’s commitment to create the much-needed national care service would help free up capacity in hospitals to the relief of millions awaiting treatment.’

Ms McAnea added that the introduction of a new fair pay agreement would ‘transform care roles into more attractive jobs and reduce vacancies’.

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