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Doctors are not responsible for the A&E crisis, says Miliband

Prime minister David Cameron is responsible for the current crisis in A&E departments and not doctors, Labour leader Ed Miliband has said in his speech to the Labour Party Conference.

Mr Miliband said the coalition had blamed doctors for the crisis for political reasons and promised Labour would ‘save the NHS yet again’ if they are elected in 2015.

He blamed the current crisis on the top down reorganisation ‘that nobody voted for’ and the chaotic introduction of NHS 111, and said that the vast majority of doctors and nurses ‘are doing a fantastic job’.

He added: ‘Sometimes things go wrong, and when they do, we should be the first people to say so. But the reason David Cameron is running down the NHS is not because the doctors and nurses can’t master the job as they were before, it is because they’ve come to a realisation that the health service is getting worse on their watch and they are desperately thrashing around trying to find someone else to blame.

‘Blame the doctors. Blame the nurses. Blame the last Labour Government.’

He added that he wanted the Labour party to ‘raise its sights’ for what the health service can achieve and confirmed that Andy Burnham’s plans to integrate health and social care would be taken forward if he formed a government.

He said: ‘The 1945 Labour Government, in really tough times, raised its sights and created the National Health Service. I want the next Labour Government to do the same. Even in tough times, to raise our sights for what the health service can achieve. Bringing together physical health, mental health and the care needs of the elderly into a truly integrated health service.’

‘But we don’t just need to improve the health service, friends, we’ve got to rescue it from these Tories. And the liberals too.’

He added that the coalition had ‘wrecked’ the NHS and that the NHS reforms were partly responsible.

He said: ‘We know who is responsible - the top down reorganisation that nobody voted for and nobody wanted. The abolition of NHS Direct… the fragmentation of services. We know who is responsible for thousands fewer nurses. We know who is responsible, not just for an annual A&E crisis, but an A&E crisis for all seasons. It is this prime minister who is responsible.’

Readers' comments (12)

  • yay, political support at last!
    possibly.
    I remember the last lot.

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  • Is there an election soon by any chance.......?

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  • Una Coales

    Stop using the NHS as a political football every time there is an upcoming general election! If the Labour govt hadn't spent millions on PFIs, many NHS trusts would not be in dire straits. If the UK were not £1.38 trillion in debt, there would be plenty of govt funding for the NHS, police force, teachers, and soldiers. No miracle cure for a trillion £ national debt!

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  • Ivan Benett

    Absolutely agree that we are not the cause of the A&E crisis...but we certainly can be part of the solution AND we can use those resources released to provide our populations with a better service... Not enough space to explain fully. I estimate that in Central Manchester there is £1million worth of A&E activity that could be invested in Primary Care to manage those problems, if only we look outside our bunkers

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  • When will the politicians discover we are not as naive as they'd like to believe.

    Yes it's a pleasing sound bite but I'm not so demented that I've forgotten the problems labour government caused.

    Now, if the BMA is smart enough, they would be using this as a springboard to negotiate a better terms or at the very least start a campaign to have this acknowledged.

    Sorry, I must stop expecting too much............

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  • I agree with those who think that the elephant in the room is that all Parties believe that GPs will be the solution to the problems of A&E and OOH care.

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  • Vinci Ho

    (Have you been watching Game of Thrones? The so called 'good guy' got his head chopped off after only one season and his 'righteous' son and family were all murdered viciously after being betrayed by an ally)
    It is the same old game of politics , all about talking .
    But at least he had pushed himself into a corner to hold the complete and opposite argument about A/E. Cannot see how this will change the fate of general practice .

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  • Vince. I had planned to start watching GoT on catchup, but I don't need to now. lol

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  • From a patient perspective: Its about time that politicians and governments were held legally accountable for all their election promises and timescales of development then we might actually see some improvement!

    If you're fiddling about with PUBLIC services how about involving people that actually work in them to help improvment - they might ACTUALLY know what they are talking about!

    Failure to deliver in the 1st two years of rule should result in prohibition of even standing in the next set of elections!

    As far as I can tell, they are all as bad as each other!

    grumble, grumble, rant over! :)

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  • Vinci Ho

    My apology to Steve for the spoiler...
    But GOT is still highly recommend

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