Health expert responds to Labour manifesto

LML General Health Blood Test Kit
LML General Health Blood Test Kit
June 17, 2024 - PRLog -- A leading expert has analysed Labour's manifesto health pledges. He says there is plenty to commend, but there are also questions that need answering.

Dr Avinash Hari Narayanan (MBChB), Clinical Lead at London Medical Laboratory, says: 'For the last two years, Government healthcare spending has gone down in real terms when adjusted for inflation. Reform is needed urgently, and looking at Labour's manifesto, the devil really is in the detail.

'Labour's manifesto pledges to cut the NHS waiting list with 40,000 more appointments each week, during evenings and weekends, paid for by cracking down on tax avoidance and non-dom loopholes. It also promises the 'Return of the family doctor'.

'We agree entirely with its policy to "shift our NHS away from a model geared towards late diagnosis and treatment, to a model where more services are delivered in local communities".

'How Labour undertakes these measures remains to be seen, however. It says the 40,000 additional appointments a week will be achieved by "incentivising staff to carry out additional appointments out of hours." The fact is, NHS workers, just like staff at local clinics and pharmacies, already work long hours and that includes significant amounts of overtime.

'Its manifesto also says: "Labour will use spare capacity in the independent sector to ensure patients are diagnosed and treated more quickly." There is an important role that private sector healthcare providers can play in contributing to local health reforms. However, this will not be an overnight fix and needs to be carefully planned.

'Crucially, its manifesto says: "We will create a Community Pharmacist Prescribing Service, granting more pharmacists independent prescribing rights where clinically appropriate."

'That is an excellent policy. Pharmacies should be empowered to offer many more services. However, many community pharmacies say that they are receiving insufficient renumeration for new services at a time when they are increasingly stretched. Adding to their workload without sufficient renumeration will increase the number of "pharmacy deserts".

'For those concerned about easy access to healthcare, it's useful to know blood tests mean people have swift access to a vast array of information about their own health through a simple finger-prick test. London Medical Laboratory's General Health Profile blood test can be taken at home through the post, or at one of the many drop-in clinics that offer these tests across London and nationwide in over 120 selected pharmacies and health stores. For full details, see:

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