Lucy Care backs new Health Action Plan

February 5, 2008 12:00 AM
Cllrs Mike Carr and Lucy Care are backing a new action plan to improve our NHS

The Liberal Democrats new action plan will improve our NHS

Derby Liberal Democrat Campaigner Cllr Lucy Care has given her backing to a new Liberal Democrat Action Plan. The Liberal Democrat plans aim to give communities genuine control over local health services, freed from Whitehall, and providing for older people with personal care needs.

The proposals update Liberal Democrat policy on personal care for the elderly based on the projections of the 2006 Wanless report on the future needs for social care in England.

The Policy Paper, which will go to the Party's Spring Conference in March, details:

· Introducing a 'Care Guarantee' by spending £2 billion on a personal care payment for all elderly people requiring care, based on need and not their ability to pay. It would also set out carers' rights including the right to complain about unsatisfactory care.

· A 'Patient Contract' guaranteeing every citizen access to a high standard of core healthcare entitlements within maximum waiting times. To make sure that the NHS delivers, patients would have the right to receive private treatment, paid for by the NHS, if the waiting time was not met.

· Directly elected local Health Boards instead of unaccountable Primary Care Trusts. This would put people in charge of decisions about their local health services.

· Roll out the use of direct payments and individual budgets for people with chronic, long term conditions, for mental health services and support for those with learning disabilities.

Commenting, Lucy Care said:

"I will be attending the conference to enthusiastically support these plans for our NHS. The plans will provide a people's health service which puts individuals in the driving seat of their own healthcare.

"Sixty years after it was founded, the NHS is in desperate need of a new direction.

"Care for older people is a big issue in Derby, as in most of the country. The additional funding we've earmarked and the proposed 'Care Guarantee' will ease this problem.

"Early results from the Health Survey we have been conducting across Derby over the last few months highlighted concerns that people have over the unaccountability of current management and oversight of the NHS. The Health Boards we are proposing should help to address this concern

"Here in Derby our NHS is under real pressure. Some staff could lose their jobs. Many are likely to face pay cuts. There are likely to be changes to medical procedures, to reduce costs.

"Nationally there are real problems too. Cancer survival is below the European average and health inequalities have widened under Labour. Many older people are not getting the personal care they so desperately require. We are letting down those most in need.

"The question is not 'how much', but 'how we spend the money' so that everyone gets the healthcare they need."