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Independents' Day

Cameron pledges to ring-fence NHS budget

Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged that ‘not a penny’ of the NHS budget will be cut until 2020 if his party is elected in 2015, in his speech to the Conservative party conference today.

Speaking on the final day of the conference in Birmingham, Mr Cameron said the NHS’s future hinged on the economic recovery before promising to ‘ring-fence NHS spending’.

It comes a day after Mr Cameron promised that patients will be able to access a GP practice seven days a week - from 8 ‘til 8 by 2020 if the Conservatives are returned to power at the next election, adding that he wanted the public to be able to see a GP at a time that ‘suits them and their family.’

He said: ‘The next Conservative Government will protect the NHS budget and continue to invest more. Because we know this truth - something Labour will never understand – and we will never forget: you can only have a strong NHS if you have a strong economy.’

Meanwhile health secretary Jeremy Hunt yesterday reiterated the Conservative Party’s plans to ‘train and retain’ an extra 5,000 GPs - less that the Labour’s pledge last week of 8,000.

He told delegates: ‘I can today confirm plans to train and retain an extra 5,000 GPs. But it also means new ways of working. Last year we announced plans for 7.5 million patients to get weekend and 8 till 8 appointments. Today we have also announced we are rolling that out to millions more –meaning this service will be available for a quarter of the whole population.

‘And going even further, I commit that at the end of the next parliament a Conservative government will make sure every NHS patient across the whole country will be able to get weekend and 8 till 8 GP appointments.’

The announcements come in the wake of last week’s Labour party conference, where Andy Burnham said general practice would become part of hospital-led ‘integrated care organisations’.



Readers' comments (12)

  • Vinci Ho

    As I said , people will need something to 'believe' before casting their vote in a general election.
    On this category, I do not believe anything ....,.

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  • ring-fenced?! With current trends, more funding is required or demand needs to be reduced!
    Seeing a GP at your convenience will cost more, or will spread the service thinner, impact on continuity, making more of a farce of the concept of a named GP!!

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  • This doesn't make sense! He's already cut the NHS savagely in real terms and per capita spending has plunged in the context of rising demographic demand.

    Large numbers of trusts are in deficit and GP closures are up with a significant proportion of London practices on the brink. A+E no longer has a winter crisis, it is all year round!

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  • Before the last election was the pledge "no top down reorganisation of the NHS",this mans mouth is open therfore can you trust him.No better than a door to door salesman.Judge him on his actions.Dont trust his words.

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  • Una Coales. Retired NHS GP.

    I must say it is rather comical to watch the political parties bandy figures around of I pledge 8000 more GPs vs I pledge 5000 extra GPs. Meanwhile in GP land, even GPs don't want to be GPs...

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  • Trust him and you'll lose your socks too:)

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  • seems to just highlight the disconnect westminster has with the real world.... not sure it is all going to end well

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  • at least they have recognised what has been said for some time that there is a shortage of GPs. this is a cheek considering the press often portrays GPs as lazy and moaning. It is interesting that none of the press are saying 'GPs have been right along - there is a shortage of them - clearly demonstrated by the main parties pledging to increase their numbers'.

    However, 8000 will still not be enough for the demand that's coming and there is not enough money to pay for even 5000 extra GPs at minimum wage - in short , they are not going to deliver. Throw in a 1.4 TRILLION pound debt and the prediction is No NHS within 10 years. We are being preped and softened up to be parcelled off to the nearest private health provider.

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  • Cameron is talking out of his ring-piece as usual.

    3bn+ wasted on reorganising the deck chairs followed by further stealth cuts and privatization if re-elected.

    Australia here I come.

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  • To all those British GPs who keep talking about emigrating with their skills to Australia:
    1. I emigrated 9 years ago. If you had told me that there could be a form of GP-work which was worse than in the UK I would have fallen over laughing, but being a GP in Australia is TERRIBLE.
    2. Pay here is being denuded on a yearly basis
    3. The worst thing: you have to suck up to patients' every last whim and crazy notion in order to get their business, or else they walk across the road and you earn (instead of peanuts) nothing
    4. Australian authorities will actively discriminate against you as a "foreign" doctor FOREVER. I am an Australian citizen and have an Australian postgrad qualification now. The biggest trade restriction is on WHERE you can settle and practice for the next decade.
    Obviously, my only comparator is with SE ENgland urban general practice c.2007....but has it got that bad?
    In Australia, you can either work yourself into an early grave at a pittance of an hourly rate, or commit blatant fraud to the Medicare system to bump up this hourly rate, or a bit of both.

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