The NHS is the jewel in the crown of public service. If Labour can't get it right then we may as well pack up completely. John Reid gives a solid speech, showing good progress in improving the service and emphasising "free at the point of need for everyone who needs it".
Death rate from Cancer down 10% and heart disease down 23% since Labour came to power. "That is what the Health service is all about - saving lives", "better lives, longer lives"
Reid talks about the fight against MRSA:
"cheapness is not a substitute for cleanliness"
"cleanliness is not an optional extra in hospitals"
"no more cut price two tier cleaning contracts signed in the NHS", this is to start "in the next few weeks"
It's people that count:
Minimum wage in NHS to be £5.69
3000 new community matrons for people with long-term conditions
"the people who really make up the NHS are the 1.3 million staff - the biggest army for good in Europe."
"84% of them are directly involved in patient care"
And to finish. In 1992, I waited for 23.5 months for an operation after seeing the consultant, after seeing my GP, after seeing my optician. It's one of the main reasons I joined the Labour Party. I had to find this last quote from the written version but it gives me a huge amount of personal pleasure:
"By the end of 2008 no-one in England will be waiting longer than 18 weeks from seeing their GP to having their operation. From start to finish. No hidden waits under Labour.
Under the Tories, 18 months. Under Labour, 18 weeks. That's a Labour Government. "