The NHS is in the “danger zone” under the Tories and Labour would nationalising failing care homes to protect their elderly patients, Jeremy Corbyn will say.
Corbyn will deny he speaks about the health service because it is a “comfort zone” for the party, as it wallows in the polls behind the Tories, and say he would “provide a long-term funding solution” to bring the NHS out of crisis.
He will also pledge that a Labour government would consider taking failing care homes into public ownership, saying it was an “outrage” that a fifth of homes lacked the staff to properly look after residents.
In a speech in London to the Fabian Society on Saturday, the Labour leader will say: “Week after week at Prime Minister’s Questions, I’ve been challenging Theresa May over the crisis in the NHS and social care.
“The thousands waiting more than four hours at A&E and the million elderly people not getting the social care they need, and the young people with mental health problems who don’t get the help and care they need.
“We will provide a long-term funding solution to our most precious national treasure our NHS.
“I don’t keep talking about the NHS because it’s in Labour’s comfort zone. I talk about the National Health Service because it’s in a danger zone.”
He will add: “Labour will not let the elderly down people who’ve worked all their lives, paid their taxes and made a massive contribution to society.
“A total of 380 care home businesses have been declared insolvent since 2010. That’s because the amount councils pay towards fees for residents is falling while costs are increasing.
“So we warn Theresa May today; if you don’t put the money into social care now, the system is at serious risk of breakdown.”
Corbyn’s comments come after NHS England boss Simon Stevens painted a bleak picture of the organisation’s future.
Appearing before MPs and uncowed by press stories attacking him, Stevens flatly dismissed Theresa May’s claims about the NHS, including that it had been given “more” money than it had asked.
On Friday morning, Corbyn accused Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt of “dithering”, adding he had “failed our NHS and our country”.
.@Jeremy_Hunt you have failed our NHS & our country. Your own local hospital has declared a state of emergency. Stop dithering & take action
— Jeremy Corbyn MP (@jeremycorbyn) January 13, 2017
In his speech on Saturday, Corbyn will add: “A Labour Government would give social care the funding it needs and give a firm commitment to take failed private care homes into public ownership to maintain social care protection.
“It’s the least we can do to guarantee dignity for people who’ve given so much to our country.”
He will also claim that Labour is a “complete break” under his leadership from the “rigged system” of “people who have been taking our country for a ride”.
“Last year’s global political earthquake didn’t just come out of the blue,” he will say, implying a parallel between his support and that for the unexpected victories of Donald Trump and Brexit.
“There are many of us who had felt the tremors growing for years. The people who run Britain have been taking our country for a ride.
“They’ve stitched up our political system to protect the powerful.”
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