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Labour condemns NHS 'raiding' winter budget before the election

Labour has condemned the news that CCGs have been asked to tap into next year’s winter budgets to keep urgent care schemes running ahead of the general election, revealed by Pulse and covered by the Telegraph.

Labour shadow health secretary Andy Burnham has said the party finds it ‘worrying’ that the NHS is raiding next year’s budgets to keep services ‘afloat’ until May.

NHS England, alongside Monitor and the Trust Development Authority, wrote to CCGs in March directing them to continue all winter pressures schemes through to the end of April.

But the GPC pointed the finger at ‘huge political pressure’ to avoid negative NHS stories before May’s election after Pulse found CCGs were funding the extension by tapping in to winter funding for 2015/16.

Mr Burnham said: ‘It is worrying that the NHS is raiding winter budgets to keep things afloat before the election. David Cameron promised to protect the NHS but he wasted £3 billion on a reorganisation that damaged patient care.

‘A&Es across England are operating at their limits after David Cameron made it harder to get a GP appointment and took care away from vulnerable older people. If he gets back in, his extreme spending cuts mean he can’t protect the NHS and the A&E crisis will get even worse. The NHS as we know it can’t survive five more years of the Tories.

‘Labour is the only party facing up to the A&E crisis with a fully-funded Rescue Plan. We will legislate for the mansion tax and tobacco levy in the first Labour budget to bring in resources this year. Labour will give people a guaranteed GP appointment within 48 hours and recruit 20,000 more nurses to help ease the pressure on A&Es.’

Readers' comments (4)

  • 20000 fully qualified nurse, 8000+fully qualified GP, garden gnomes for all the grass, pixie dust in case you want to fly and a partridge in a pear tree. Election around the corner, politicians lying more than usual. GP's services are "$%£ed however you look at it, but the headline isn't even about us, its about a+E!

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  • Patching up a calamity to hide blatant failings ... Doesn't matter really, just borrow more from the ether.

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  • What a short memory! Mid Staffordshire happened under Labour's stewardship so I certainly hope the NHS as we know it does not survive the next five years. It is vital we get back to caring about patients and their families and make decisions based on clinical need not balancing spreadsheets. The public are willing to pay more if they knew it would be spent on their care. A+E crisis happens every year because the care in the community is not robust enough to cope. We put targets before treatment and pounds before patients and wonder why the system doesn't cope.

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  • "Labour Condemns" everything but never ever comes up with a viable nor affordable strategy!!!

    13 years they had and almost bankrupt the country!!

    Tax, Borrow and spend are the only guarantees under Burnham and his band of merry men and women!!

    Bankruptcy for the nation is the only guaranteed outcome.

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