Miliband pledge longer social care visits

British Labour Party leader Ed Miliband

British Labour Party leader Ed Miliband
British Labour Party leader Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband is to set out Labour’s “10-year plan” for the NHS including longer home visits by social care workers.

The Labour leader will also pledge new safety checks to identify people at risk of hospitalisation and to recruit 5,000 new home care workers reported BBC.

There was an “iron curtain” between the NHS and social care, he told the BBC.

Meanwhile, with 100 days to go to the election, the Conservatives have been outlining plans to cut the benefits cap to pay for more apprenticeships.

All of the major parties have pledged what they say is enough money to maintain NHS services in the next Parliament after the general election.

The Conservatives say they would ring-fence and “protect” the NHS budget while the Liberal Democrats have promised to meet “in full” the £8bn extra NHS managers say is needed by 2020 and UKIP has said it would commit an extra £3bn a year to the service.

‘Perilous moment’

Labour have promised to keep the NHS ring-fence and spend an extra £2.5bn a year across the UK by the end of the next Parliament.

In a speech in Trafford, Greater Manchester on Tuesday, Mr Miliband will say the NHS faces “its most perilous moment” at May’s general election.

Labour’s previously-announced NHS pledges include 20,000 more nurses and providing cancer tests and results within a week.

The 5,000 extra home care workers would treat terminally ill people in their own beds.

Mr Miliband will also spell out financial incentives for social care workers to spend more than 15 minutes on home visits.

Limiting visits to 15 minutes is “a symbol of what has gone wrong in the NHS where failure and false economies threaten the financial future of the service”, Mr Miliband will say.

Care visits

Labour said care workers often had to choose between preparing a meal for people they are visiting or taking them to the toilet because of time constraints.

The party is putting the NHS at the heart of its bid to win the general election, which is 100 days away.

Mr Miliband told BBC Breakfast that the election represented a “big fight for the future of the NHS” and that the Conservatives had betrayed promises made in 2010.

He rejected suggestions his blueprint was another top-down reorganisation, saying it was a considered plan to “join up services from home to hospital”.

“It is not about the NHS standing still but being changed,” he said.

The health service, he said, had lost a million bed hours last year because there was no-where for elderly patients to go once they were discharged and increased support for home care would save money elsewhere in the system.

“A £50 grab rail in a home can be a life saver or at least stop elderly people ending up in hospital,” he said.

The £2.5bn in funding to support the extra care professionals, as well as additional doctors, nurses and midwives, would be “raised swiftly” once Labour came to power, he insisted.

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