Sunday People


Leader to launch his NHS Health Misssion

- EXCLUSIVE BY MIKEY SMITH Whitehall Correspond­ent

LABOUR will cut deaths from heart disease and strokes by a quarter within 10 years as part of a major NHS overhaul.

Party leader Keir Starmer will tomorrow set out “serious, deep, long-term changes” that also aim to slash cancer deaths and improve mental health treatment.

Launching its Health Mission tomorrow, he will say: “At the next election the NHS is on the line. The Conservati­ve Party that has brought it to its knees will put it in the ground.

“We’ve got to fix the fundamenta­ls, renew its purpose, make it fit for the future.”

Cardiovasc­ular disease (CVD), which includes heart disease and strokes, is the leading cause of death globally, claiming 17.9m lives a year.

In the UK, it accounts for one in four deaths, killing 460 people every day. Nearly seven million Brits have CVD but it is highly preventabl­e via lifestyle changes and treatment of risk factors like high blood pressure.

Labour says it will reduce deaths through a combinatio­n of increased NHS staffing and early interventi­on. It will improve access to GPS for early diagnosis of heart problems and allow pharmacies to do more testing and help patients manage their blood pressure. Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting this week vowed to improve cancer survival rates within Labour’s first term in office. And, writing for us today, Anneliese Dodds, the Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary, says the party is committed to “urgently” addressing women’s mental health amid alarming suicide rates among new mums.

Labour is also committed to training 7,500 new doctors and 10,000 nurses a year, paid for by reintroduc­ing the 45p rate of income tax paid by those who are earning more than £150,000 a year.

And the party is determined to bring down ambulance response times. The current target of 18 minutes has never been met since it was introduced in 2017 – and some patients have died waiting for help.

Speaking in Essex today, Mr Starmer will say: “Can you imagine losing someone that way? I can’t. It shouldn’t be possible in our country, but it is. A cruel lottery of who lives and who dies that the NHS was founded to stop.”

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