Tories slam Labour NHS spending

THE CONSERVATIVES have renewed their attack on Labour’s handling of the NHS by claiming management costs rose twice as fast as spending on mental illness during the previous government’s time in office.

Spending on managers and senior managers rose 450 per cent over 13 years to hit £1.04bn in 2009-10, compared to a 191 per cent rise in cash for mental health problems, according to the research.

Tory MP Chris Skidmore, who sits on the health select committee, said his party would “root out waste and inefficiency”, adding: “The amount Labour poured into bureaucracy in the NHS was wasteful and unsustainable.”

The attack on the previous government comes as the coalition tries to regain the initiative on its controversial plans for reform of the NHS.

Last week a group of former presidents of the Faculty of Public Health wrote to David Cameron to warn that the coalition’s bill represented an “unprecedented marketisation” of services which posed a “major threat” to the integrity of the health service and would make it variable across the country.

Labour’s massive rises in health spending cut waiting lists and won praise from the NHS Confederation, although it was accused of failing to get value for taxpayers’ money.

Meanwhile, scores of charities, activists and MPs from across the political parties have written an open letter urging the government to overhaul the social care system or risk huge problems with an ageing population in the coming years.