Nuffield Trust responds to Labour's Ten Year Plan for Health

Nigel Edwards reacts to Labour’s ten-year plan for the NHS.

Press Release

Published: 27/01/2015

Responding to Labour’s Ten Year Plan for Health and Care, Nuffield Trust Chief Executive Nigel Edwards said:

“Labour’s plan presents a credible explanation of their understanding of the issues facing health and social care. It would be helpful to have the same from the other political parties at this stage in the electoral cycle.

In many countries politicians are stepping back from detailed operational management of complex health services. But Labour’s proposals still feel somewhat top-down.
Nigel Edwards, Chief Executive, Nuffield Trust

“The party is right to focus on a wider vision of care, a long-term shift towards care out of hospital, and the need for more funding to achieve that. This is in line with much of the thinking currently being adopted by health and social care professionals, as set out in the Five Year Forward View. 

“However, while more support outside hospital could improve people’s lives, Labour needs to be more careful about assuming they will deliver short-term savings. 

“In many countries politicians are stepping back from detailed operational management of complex health services. But Labour’s proposals still feel somewhat top-down. It is not clear why politicians should be in charge of specifying the numbers of staff to be recruited, or when patients need to see their GPs. 

“This is a concern because nationally driven performance management can be just as disruptive as structural reorganisation. 

“Meanwhile, it would be helpful to have more detail about how a Labour Government would bring funding together across the NHS and local authorities, and whether social care as a whole will be more generous.”