After criticising the proposed NHS changes from her own party’s leader, Diane Abbott has stirred controversy.
In an article published over the weekend, Sir Keir Starmer outlined the healthcare changes he would implement if he were to win the next general election.
These included removing the “bureaucratic nonsense” he referred to and allowing patients to self-refer to a specialist without going via their general practitioner.
Additionally, he was in favour of “phasing in a new system” for GPs, which would have made family physicians direct NHS employees.
Under the present system, independent general practitioners (GPs) manage their own practises while being hired by the NHS.
He continued, writing in the Telegraph, that the NHS would eventually “die” if these or comparable changes weren’t implemented.
Abbott tweeted in response to Starmer’s reform recommendations: “Keir Starmer has joined the right in calling for the ‘reform’ of the NHS. And we all know what that means.”
In response, the former Secretary of Culture, Ben Bradshaw, stated: “No, he’s leading the calls Diane, just as the Labour government between 1997 and 2010 reformed the NHS and delivered the shortest waiting times and the highest patient and staff satisfaction in the NHS’s history.”
The remarks were made as personnel shortages and prolonged strikes by NHS workers threatened to destroy the organisation.
In England’s A&Es, the percentage of patients seen within four hours dropped to a record-low 65% last week.