Andy Burnham will announce that every hospital would need to become an integrated care organisation if Labour were in government during his address to the party conference tomorrow.
Addressing a fringe session held by the NHS Confederation, Local Government Association and the King’s Fund today, the shadow health secretary revealed he would announce tomorrow that “every hospital” would grow into an integrated care organisation.
He added: “I want the hospital organisation to grow into an integrated care organisation because the ‘year of care’ idea would put more stability under their financial planning. Their outlook would be firmer.
“It’s not just to shore up what they are doing in the hospital, it’s then a firm outlook to change what they are doing, so they can start to think differently and move into the community.”
Mr Burnham’s comments followed Labour party leader Ed Miliband announcing Labour would introduce a “£2.5bn NHS time to care fund”, increasing health service funding at a greater rate than at present, if he formed a government next year.
Mr Miliband said the first priority for the new fund would be to fund 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more GPs, 5,000 more careworkers and 3,000 more midwives. He said he would make the health service the centrepiece of Labour’s election campaign.
The funding would be raised by a new “mansion tax”; a “sin tax”, levied against tobacco manufacturers, and a clampdown on tax avoidance, with hedge funds singled out as a targeted sector, Mr Miliband said.
Mr Miliband told delegates: “We will clamp down on tax avoidance including tax loop holes for the hedge funds. We will use the proceeds on a mansion tax on homes above £2m. We will raise extra resources from the tobacco companies who make soaring profits on ill health.
“Tomorrow [health secretary] Andy Burnham will set out an integrated plan for physical health, mental health and care for the elderly. A truly 21st century national health service.
“The stakes are incredibly high in this national election and nowhere more so than for the National Health Service. We know the NHS is sliding backwards under this government. We know that they are privatising and fragmenting it. Just imagine what another five years of David Cameron would mean for our National Health Service.”
Mr Miliband repeated the party’s pledge to repeal parts of the Health Act 2012.
A Labour press statement said: “[The fund] will address a growing problem which has meant one in four people not getting a GP appointment within a week, more than half of nurses saying their wards are dangerously understaffed, and community care services which can often prevent people from needing expensive hospital treatment in crisis.