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Labour to announce GP funding pledge at Pulse Live conference

The Labour Party is due to announce a pledge to boost funding for general practice at today’s Pulse Live conference.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth will announce a new commitment to increase the share of NHS funding that goes to primary care, including a new £500 million Primary Care Infrastructure Investment Fund.

Closing the two-day conference with a keynote address this afternoon, the shadow secretary will launch a Labour plan for:

  • £5bn extra for the NHS this year;
  • £2bn extra for social care this year with an extra £8 billion over a Parliament;
  • £1bn investment in NHS staffing to bring back the training bursary, support fair pay and invest in Career Professional Development of NHS staff;
  • To protect and enhance public health budgets and mental health budgets including a new Child Health Fund of £500m; and
  • A £10 billion infrastructure fund to invest in the new facilities, beds, equipment and technology.

He will say: 'When we see waiting lists around four million, when we see ambulances backed up outside overcrowded hospitals, when we see operations cancelled including cancer operations too, when we see elderly confused vulnerable patients stranded on trolleys in the corridors of bursting wards, then I’m afraid a nod and wink from the Prime Minister isn’t good enough.

'We need a long term investment plan for our NHS and care sector urgently. Patients simply should not be expected to wait any longer.'

Mr Ashworth will also recognise the 'deep and severe pressures' facing general practice, amid the Government's 'failure' to boost workforce numbers.

He will highlight that:

  • The number of full time equivalent GPs fell by 720 between September 2015 and December 2017, despite a Government target to hire 5,000 more;
  • The number of general practice nurses has fallen by 343 over the same period;
  • The most deprived areas currently tend to have the fewest GPs and nurses per 100,000 people.

The speech comes as Prime Minister Theresa May said yesterday that she intends to set out a 'multiyear' NHS funding settlement later this year, in a bid to allow the NHS to plan for the longer term and avoid annual 'top ups'.

But Mr Ashworth will say, regarding Labour's funding pledge: 'These are the levels of investment that the patient who has had a cancer operation cancelled or the elderly patient waiting hours on a trolley in a hospital corridor needs now.

'The test for Theresa May is whether she genuinely delivers the significant long term investment package Labour is offering or whether it will turn out yet again to be more thin Tory gruel.'




Readers' comments (8)

  • Took Early Retirement

    It will be interesting to see what happens if Labour do form a government.

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  • Labour Party aspirations “ Fantasy “ Until Labour are in Government! May’s ideas need Urgent Clarification and Implementation to be taken seriously! Time Will Tell!

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  • Am sure they would also increase higher rate tax to 60% if not more to pay for all this... (i.e. out of our pocket anyway)

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  • many would consider continuing working or even joining if given a tax exempt level of pay along the lines HA locums are receiving - market forces...or no market stall

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  • @Dr Adz
    And what exactly is wrong with that?
    The money for a publicly funded health service generally comes from the public.
    If less money comes then the system (ie the broken one we are currently struggling to work in) gets worse.
    Its funny that the last time things were getting better were when more money was getting transfused in to try and match European GDP levels. (ie before 2010)
    Higher tax was closer to 70% when Thatcher came into power- and corporation tax a great deal higher too (and it was bloody well collected by a well funded HMRC in those days)

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  • Vinci Ho

    As I wrote under the other article about the PM's 'multiyear' NHS funding, the opposition party jumps on well as expected. While nobody dares to say 'what crisis?' anymore, it is now about how effective is the opposition in an elected government and its parliament. The PM and her government would only provide and tangible and real solutions to us if there is a genuine fear factor coming from the opposition. That is the fundamentals of western democracy. So I do not have any problem if some of us would be urging Labour Party to 'get it right' for us . The more 'right' it gets , the greater is the fear factor to Auntie May and Agent Hunt.
    As I predicted before this year began , some 'big' event would happen in NHS , may be it is now or never .........

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  • It gets a bit sickening being kicked around in a political football.

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  • Maverick

    "This is going to hurt".
    Secret diaries of a junior doctor
    By Adam Kay.
    Essential reading for those currently practising in the NHS and those considering offering themselves up for sacrifice. Please ask your children to read this before applying to medical school.....

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