The RCP has responded to the shadow secretary of state for health and social care, Wes Streeting, following his speech at the Labour Party Conference.
In response to the speech, Dr Sarah Clarke, president of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), said:
“Labour’s pledge for more doctors and nurses is very welcome. We have long called for a doubling of medical school places and were pleased that on Monday the shadow chancellor set out Labour’s pledge to do just that. Training more doctors is essential to addressing the challenges that we know the healthcare system will face in the future, such as the rising demand that will come with an ageing population.
“The shadow secretary of state’s speech also recognised that a lack of social care leads to people staying in hospital for longer than they need to. A long-term funding settlement for social care is vital to speeding up discharges from hospital and preventing admissions in the first place by enabling more people to live fulfilling, independent lives.
“Reducing health inequalities must be a priority for any government, and the shadow secretary of state referred to this. The RCP is clear that the best way to improve health is to focus on the factors that shape it. That is why the over 200 organisations of the Inequalities in Health Alliance have been calling and will continue to call for an explicit cross-government strategy to reduce health inequalities. It is factors such as poor housing, racism and discrimination, air quality, the marketing and advertising of unhealthy food, lack of educational opportunity and employment (including how much money you have) that cause ill health in the first place.”