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Labour: Unfair for NHS staff to be singled out over pay

We support pay restraint, including in the NHS, but it’s unfair for NHS staff to be singled out in this way.

The Pay Review Body has looked carefully at the issue and the Government should not have rejected its advice and gone further than a one per cent cap, which the Chancellor himself announced.

If David Cameron hadn’t wasted £3 billion on a reorganisation nobody wanted, the NHS would have a much better financial outlook than it has today.

His reorganisation resulted in six-figure pay-offs for thousands of senior managers and pay cuts for nurses.

That is the reality of the NHS under David Cameron.

– Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham

Tories accuse Labour of 'irresponsible scaremongering'

Labour's attempts to block clause 119 of the care bill, which would give ministers greater power to close down hospitals, is "irresponsible scaremongering of the worst kind".

A Conservative Party spokesman said:

These claims from Andy Burnham are irresponsible scaremongering of the worst kind - changes to the special administrator regime will simply ensure that patients get safe care, and these powers have only ever been used in extremis twice since 2009, when Labour introduced them in the first place.

This Government is determined to turn round failing hospitals, unlike the Opposition, which didn't confront the sort of under performance and failure we tragically saw at Mid Staffs.

– A Conservative Party spokesman

Read: Labour claims clause 119 will put 30 trusts 'at risk'

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NHS should be run for 'clinical not financial reasons'

Labour has accused the Government of neglecting the NHS' first responsibility to clinical care and instead, having a financial focus when making changes to hospitals.

Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham said:

Jeremy Hunt wants to ride roughshod over local communities and have carte blanche to break up the NHS without anyone else having a say.

With more and more hospitals in financial difficulty, this move could hit every community in the land and leave them voiceless in the face of changes to their services.

Labour is clear: changes to hospitals should be driven by clinical, not financial, reasons with local people involved every step of the way.

That is why we believe these plans are dangerous and wrong. It is time for Parliament to stop an arrogant Secretary of State from overstepping the mark.

– Andy Burnham

Read: Labour appeals over government care bill

Labour appeals to MPs over power to close hospitals

A general view of an Accident and Emergency sign. Credit: PA Wire

Labour is appealing for Tory and Liberal Democrat MPs to help block measures it says will give ministers sweeping powers to close hospitals.

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said clause 119 of the Care Bill - due to be debated in the Commons today - would allow Jeremy Hunt to "ride roughshod" over local residents' concerns.

Labour: Social care cuts to blame for ambulance increase

Andy Burnham said that social care cuts are increasing the need for ambulance callouts. Credit: PA

Labour said the ambulance figures confirm that cuts to social care funding are driving up the need for hospital attention among the elderly.

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said data in the House of Commons library shows that local authority spending on adult social care has been cut by £1.8bn since 2009/10.

He said: "These shocking figures expose the growing crisis in older people's care on David Cameron's watch.

"The Government's severe cuts to social care have left thousands of older people without the support they need - at risk of going into hospital and getting trapped there. It is one of the root causes of David Cameron's A&E crisis.

"It is appalling to think that every week there are thousands of frail and frightened people speeding through our towns and cities in the backs of ambulances to be left in a busy A&E."

Labour: NHS 'on brink of a very dangerous winter'

Labour's shadow health secretary Andy Burnham has warned that the NHS could be "on the brink of a very dangerous winter" as A&E departments are increasingly overcrowded.

He was speaking as a new report by the National Audit Office finds that more people are being admitted to hospital through A&E departments than ever before, and that many of these admissions are avoidable.

Mr Burnham told Daybreak that older people are "drifting towards A&E in ever greater numbers" as care facilities in the community are taken away.

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Labour: 'Doctors are not surrogate immigration officials'

Labour's shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said: "We are in favour of improving the recovery of costs from people with no entitlement to NHS treatment.

"But it's hard not to conclude that this announcement is more about spin than substance. The Government's own report undermines their headline-grabbing figures, admitting they are based on old and incomplete data.

"Instead of grandstanding, the Government need to focus on delivering practical changes. Labour would not support changes that make doctors and nurses surrogate immigration officials."

Dept of Health apology over Burnham 'smear' emails

by - Political Correspondent

The Department of Health has apologised to Labour's health spokesman Andy Burnham over the release of confidential emails he claims were used to smear him, ITV News has learnt.

The Department of Health has apologised to Andy Burnham. Credit: PA

The Health Secretary Jermey Hunt suggested in a tweet last week that the emails, published in the Daily Mail, showed his predecessor had attempted to cover up failures at the Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals Trust.

Andy Burnham is considering legal action over what he claims was an unprecedented smear. Now, the Permanent Secretary at the Department of Health, Una O'Brien, has written to him saying they should have consulted him before releasing the emails.

"I am sorry that on this occasion, the protocol was not properly observed and I apologise both on behalf of the Department and the CQC for this lapse."

She goes on to say: "My investigations have revealed that this was a genuine oversight on the part of officials but nonetheless unacceptable."

The Health Secretary Mr Hunt denies he was questioning Mr Burnham's integrity.

Yesterday, Mr Burnham learnt that he was keeping his job as Shadow Health Secretary in Labour's reshuffle.

Hunt 'does not doubt Burnham's personal integrity'

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he does not doubt Andy Burnham's "personal integrity" following a row over allegations his opposite number was involved in a hospital "cover up" when he was in office.

Labour threatened Mr Hunt with legal action after he wrote in a Twitter post, "Shocking revelations on @andyburnhammp's attempts to cover up failing hospitals".

Jeremy Hunt posted this letter written to Andy Burnham on his Twitter page.
Jeremy Hunt posted this letter written to Andy Burnham on his Twitter page. Credit: Twitter/@Jeremy_Hunt

In a letter to the now shadow health secretary, Mr Hunt that he was "very surprised" to receive correspondence from Mr Burnham's lawyers and that his comment "was not a suggestion that you personally covered up evidence of poor care".

However he added, "I do believe that the previous Government, with you as the Secretary of State for Health, must acknowledge and take responsibility for these failures on your watch."

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