Exclusive A Green Party Government would increase spending on general practice by 80%, a party spokesperson has revealed.
Larry Sanders, the Green Party’s health spokesperson, has told Pulse that the party plans to put £20bn back into the NHS, while also pledging to raise the percentage of the NHS budget spent on general practice from 7% to 11% – increasing the total amount spent on GPs by 80%.
When asked where the extra funding would come from, Mr Sanders said ‘there is no problem with the money’, with ‘fair taxation’ being the ‘obvious source’.
He said: ‘We know that there’s tens of billions of pounds that have not been collected. Successive governments have cut the staffing for collecting the money so they don’t even really want to get it.
‘We can have a more progressive taxation system and we could spend the same amount as comparable countries in Europe in percentage of GDP and we would have that £20bn.’
Mr Sanders also discussed the Green Party’s pledge to repeal the Health and Social Care Act, replacing GP-led CCGs with district health authorities.
He said: ‘We don’t think it’s necessary that they would be running the services as a clinical commissioning groups have done. My observation is that very few GPs really like that and very few do it very well.’
But he said that it ‘goes without saying’ GPs should’have a ‘deep voice’ in the work that they do.
He added that although previous governments have ‘messed up’ when it comes to ensuring that there’s a sustainable workforce for the future, ‘that’s not an excuse for not putting it back [the way it should be]’.
He said: ‘It is the view of the Green Party that general practice is the hub, the core of a good health service.’
Mr Sanders also echoed Labour’s recent pledge to halt sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) that call for hospital closures.
He said the Green Party is ‘very angry’ about the plans, which he described as ‘criminal’.
He said: ‘It is our view that the current funding, the funding that is planned and the STPs to make those cuts, will kill or cause enormous pain to large numbers of people. We think that they are not just bad politics, they are criminal.’
Image credit: Kaihsu Tai
What are political parties promising on the NHS?
Green Party: Is pledging an 80% increase in funding for general practice. Full manifesto expected next week.
Conservative Party: Has pledged no extra funding beyond the extra £8bn already promised to deliver the NHS Five Year Forward View. Full manifesto outstanding. Expected to continue focus on patients gaining access to GP appointments 8am-8pm, seven days a week.
Labour Party: £37bn extra additional NHS funding in the next Parliament, funded by tax rises on those on highest incomes. Draft manifesto, leaked last week, pledged funding boost to general practice and this was confirmed in the final version published this week. The party has also pledged to scrap the 1% cap on NHS staff pay rises.
Liberal Democrats: £6bn extra a year to the NHS, funded by a 1% increase to all income tax, to be geared towards high-impact areas including general practice. Wants to abandon the Government’s seven-day GP agenda.