The shadow health secretary tore into the PM over the state of the NHS, saying a Labour Government would reform it but not pump money into it unthinkingly.
In a tubthumping conference speech he also pledged to protect children’s health with a ban on junk food ads aimed at minors and tougher restrictions on vaping – and mocked the PM for stealing his plan for a rolling smoking ban.
Mr Streeting, who is seen as a potential future Labour leader, said he wanted children born now to live until the 22nd century and aimed a message at the vaping industry, saying the party would come down ‘like a ton of brinks’ on those aiming nicotine products at under-18s.
The shadow health secretary tore into the PM over the state of the NHS , saying a Labour Government would reform it but not pump money into it unthinkingly.
Mr Streeting, who is seen as a potential future Labour leader, said he would come down ‘like a ton of brinks’ on those aiming nicotine products at under-18s. Pictures is deputy party leader Angela Rayner having a cheeky puff.
In his speech on the last day of the conference in Liverpool, Mr Streeting said some 7.7 million people were currently on NHS waiting lists.
The longest waiting lists ever. And the audacity of the fifth Conservative Prime Minister in 13 years blaming NHS staff for the Tories’ abysmal failure,’ he said.
‘Rishi Sunak – how dare you? There is a window of opportunity for negotiations before the next round of strikes takes place. A serious Prime Minister would take it.’
He also warned the NHS must ‘modernise or die’ in the face of an ‘existential’ crisis, with possible bankruptcy unless it is overhauled.
He set out plans to shift its focus from hospitals to providing more care in the community and from tackling sickness to preventing illness in the first place.
‘It falls to us, the party that founded the NHS 75 years ago, to rescue, rebuild and renew the health service today,’ he said.
‘Transformation of the National Health Service must go hand in hand with a transformation of the health of the nation.
‘A child born in Britain today should live to see the 22nd century. I want them to be part of the healthiest generation that ever lived. That’s Labour’s ambition for children.
‘And we will bring it to life by taking tough action against those who are cutting our children’s lives short.
‘We will ban junk food ads targeted at children. Bridget’s (Phillipson – shadow education secretary) breakfast clubs will provide every primary school pupil with a healthy, nutritious start to the day, making sure they have hungry minds, not hungry bellies.
‘We’ll introduce supervised toothbrushing to keep kids’ teeth clean and keep them out of hospital.
And to those in the vaping industry, who have sought to addict a generation of children to nicotine with flavours like rainbow burst and cotton candy ice, you have been warned – a Labour government will come down on you like a ton of bricks.’
Unite trade union general secretary Sharon Graham said: ‘Labour’s focus on the NHS is welcome – but it must come with a clear workforce plan that includes the reversal of real terms pay cuts.
‘We cannot fix the NHS if we don’t reverse the crippling staff shortages. And we can’t do that if we don’t improve pay and conditions.
‘Dedicated staff are leaving in droves because they cannot make ends meet, many are visiting food banks. There is a real opportunity here to invest in the NHS and its staff.’
Last week Labour was accused of failing teachers after unveiling plans for supervised toothbrushing in schools as part of its policy to solve the problems in NHS dentistry.
Sir Keir Starmer ‘s plans – set to cost £111million annually – would mean that teachers in areas with high tooth decay would need to supervise the morning dental care for pupils aged three to five.
But critics suggested the measures were an improper use of time for teachers, many of whom are already considering leaving the profession due to burnout and high workloads. Ministers also suggested the plans were unfunded and required more government borrowing.
The chief of the National Association of Headteachers told Sir Keir it was not the role of teachers to supervise dental care. General secretary Paul Whiteman said: ‘This week we have seen guidance on mobile phones from Government and a new dentistry duty from the Opposition.
‘This is not the response needed to solve the crises in school. We have serious reservations about how such a policy could work. It is not the role of teachers to be making sure children brush their teeth each day. We should demand more than window dressing from all of our politicians.’
Content source – www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com