HEALTH FOR ALL
- Abolish the Public Private Partnerships (PPP) and Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) as a means of funding hospitals, and replace this private method of funding with a stream of public debt-free money.
- Maintain Local Hospitals.
They say they don't have enough money to keep the local hospital going -- but the real question should be, "What do we choose to prioritise?" Our priority is to ensure maximum care for local people, and especially to provide optimum accident and emergency cover. We should certainly not consider closing down a local hospital until we have a new one which is equally accessible. Centralisation of facilities can also spread disease.
- NHS Boards Directly Elected by Local People.
The closure of local hospitals highlights the problems of the centralising mentality, and it is symptomatic of the lack of accountability, and the lack of any democratic say for local people in the process of planning local health service provision. Locally elected health boards addresses the democratic deficit in the process of local health service planning.
- Address the Under-Staffing of the NHS by supporting a 15% pay rise for nurses, but especially by putting more emphasis on hands-on training for nurses, rather than college-based training.
The recent emphasis on college-based training is putting off many people who would be good nurses, but who either don't have the qualifications, or who feel intimidated by the college-based emphasis. This includes especially older women, who have the life-experience and communication skills to make good nurses but who don't want, or who can't commit, to the college-based curriculum.
A college-based qualification does not necessarily ensure that the nurse will have the communication skills, or hands-on ability to do the job. It takes a certain kind of person to be a good nurse and it doesn't mean being able to write an essay, or complete an "audit".
- More Family Friendly Policies for Nurses with young children.
Slash Unnecessary Bureaucracy, and Encourage a New Look at Proven Strategies in Ward Management to ensure optimum patient care. For example, the older forms of ward management, while more institutional, had the advantage of sharing the workload more evenly between the nurses, enabling them to work as a team to ensure all the basic tasks were getting done. New forms of management can lead to individual nurses becoming overloaded, while looking after several "clients" at once. This can lead to a sense of isolation among nurses and lower morale.
- Prioritise Spending on Basic Medical and Surgical Resources. Nurses report that too often, basics such as pillows and blankets are becoming a scarce resource in our hospitals.
- Support a Programme of new-build, Council-run, high-quality Residential Nursing Homes which will help to relieve the burden of elderly patient care from the NHS.
- Support families who look after their own Elderly. If families are looking after elderly relatives at home then they should be supported financially by the state because they are taking the burden off the NHS. We support extra benefits to enable care of the elderly at home.
- Increase Awareness, and Emphasise Early Diagnosis, of Medical Problems by boosting screening programmes and educational measures which reach out directly to local communities.
- Protect Natural and Herbal Remedies, and Food Supplements, presently under threat from EU legislation, and encourage Complimentary Therapies.
- Free Eye and Dental Check-Ups.
- Free Prescriptions for All.
- Oppose Fluoridation. There remains a threat that the Scottish Executive may try to introduce fluoridation of the Scottish water supply after the next Scottish Election in 2007. We are opposed to the contamination of our water with an industrial waste product.
- Address the Corporate Exploitation of the Young by alcohol companies.
- Encourage Physical Fitness, including Free Sport Coaching out of school hours, for all children. Free swimming lessons, during school hours, for all children. Protect playing fields. Strengthen the financial status of voluntary sports clubs by enabling them to apply for charitable status.