Labour will have a long laundry list of challenges to tackle in government, developing a consensus is the only way forward - Daxa Patel

It looks increasingly likely we will have a Labour government whether we like it or not, and it will happen only because the Tory party is self-destructing. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has failed on four out of his five pledges, and more than 100 MPs from his party have already announced that they will not be seeking re-election.

Recently there were headlines about 250 avoidable deaths every week due to A&E waits. Last week a poll was published showing the satisfaction rate in our NHS plummeted to a whole new low.

The term avoidable deaths is an anathema. An avoidable death should not happen in the first place, and even one avoidable is one death too many.

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Will things get better under a new Labour government? I am not holding my breath but one never wants to be so despondent so as to give up on hope. There are several challenges that await them.

Labour Party deputy leader Angela Rayner with leader Sir Keir Starmer during the Labour Party local elections campaign launch. PIC: Jordan Pettitt/PA WireLabour Party deputy leader Angela Rayner with leader Sir Keir Starmer during the Labour Party local elections campaign launch. PIC: Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire
Labour Party deputy leader Angela Rayner with leader Sir Keir Starmer during the Labour Party local elections campaign launch. PIC: Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire

Balancing economic growth with social welfare programs and managing public finances effectively. Tax and public debt are much higher than it was under the last Labour government.

Dealing with the aftermath of Brexit, including trade agreements, economic impact, and relations with the EU. Addressing issues like healthcare, education, housing and inequality to meet the needs of the population.

Managing opposition from other political parties, interest groups and the media.

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Navigating foreign policy challenges and maintaining diplomatic relations with other countries especially, given the wars.

Implementing sustainable policies to combat climate change and meet environmental targets. These are just a few of the issues that beg for attention. A country needs to be managed carefully like a private household. We need more money coming in than going out. We need to ensure every member of the family has access to good health and social care. We need to take care of our elders, and the vulnerable members of the family. We need good education for our young people. We need funds set aside for a rainy day. We also need to do our bit for the community, including the world community.

Using this as a metaphor for running the country, can Sir Keir Starmer improve on Mr. Sunak and co? Rome was not built in a day but if the government is bold enough to implement some radical changes and get re-elected, it can bring hope and prosperity back.

We must make some uncomfortable and even some not so socialist decisions to shake things up a bit otherwise things will only get worse.

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The ageing population and its impact on health and social services are indeed significant challenges that any government, including a new Labour government, will need to address.

As the population ages, there is an increased demand for healthcare services, long-term care and support for the elderly. This can put a strain on the healthcare system and social services, leading to issues such as long waiting times, understaffing, and inadequate resources. This is already happening.

The government needs to focus on policies that promote healthy ageing, invest in healthcare infrastructure, improve access to care for the elderly and enhance support services for caregivers.

We need a two-pronged approach, short term and long-term measures. Labour would do well to take note. In the short term, we need emergency healthcare funding, allocate additional funding to address immediate healthcare needs, reduce waiting times, and improve access to essential services.

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Shed the middle managers in the NHS and bring back matrons. Swap overseas university students for overseas medical and social care workers.

Ditch the Rwanda plan, it is wasting precious energy. Paying an asylum seeker £3,000 each to board a plan to Rwanda is yet another political stunt. Controlling our borders is an issue but respectful relations with France and Europe would achieve a great deal more.

Social Welfare Reforms with reforms to support vulnerable populations, such as increasing benefits to those who need and encouraging those who can work to trade benefits for a pay cheque.

In the long term, we need a healthcare overhaul. If we integrate primary health care with the NHS we might see a more integrated approach, improved efficiency and a sustainable health care system.

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Develop a long-term strategy for social care, including funding mechanisms, quality standards, and support for carers. Our aim has to be to reduce public borrowing and get the economy so strong that we can function as a responsible household.

I wonder if the time has come given how acute the challenges are that we need a consensus government. My invitation to the Labour party is to form an alliance even if they win with a landslide. I firmly believe we are on a precipice and we need a radical solution by working effectively together.

Daxa Manhar Patel is a leadership coach, author and solicitor.

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