I will slash ‘nonsense’ bureaucracy in the NHS

Sir Keir also outlined Labour’s plans to crack down on the “bureaucratic nonsense” that patients encounter every day in the health service.

“Why can’t people with persistent back problems self-refer to physio?” he said. “Why if you notice bleeding do you have to get a GP appointment, simply to get the tests that you then do yourself at home?

“Every patient will have their own experience of these mundane inconveniences and inefficiencies. Across the system and across the country each one adds up, resulting in a mind-boggling waste of time, energy and money, all of which could be better spent.”

The NHS is facing one of its worst winter crises, with medics warning that hospitals are running out of oxygen because of the number of patients being treated in corridors and ambulances.

Heart attack victims were left waiting an average of 90 minutes for an ambulance last month – the worst waiting times on record.

Sir Keir warned that “investment alone won’t be enough” to rescue the NHS and said he will tackle “ingrained thinking” among hospital managers to force change and modernisation of the service.

His message is a direct challenge to Rishi Sunak, who has made cutting down NHS waiting list times one of his key priorities as Prime Minister.

Sir Keir said Mr Sunak’s promise to get waiting lists down is merely the “path of least resistance” and the “stale route to further decline” of the health service.

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