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Greens become first to pledge 11% of NHS budget to general practice

The Greens have become the first political party to promise to boost the proportion of NHS funding for primary care to 11%, as demanded by the RCGP and GPC.

The promise is outlined in the party’s manifesto, published today, with the party’s NHS policies heavily focusing on an expansion of primary care and preventing illness.

Both the RCGP and GPC have called for such an increase from the current level of 7%, which would restore funding to the proportion allocated in 2005.

The calls for 11% of the budget were first made in the RCGP’s 2013 Put Patients First campaign and later reiterated by the GPC, which argued the NHS would otherwise be ‘in danger of collapse’.

The Green Party manifesto said: ‘We would restore the proportion of NHS funding for primary care from the present 7% to 2005 levels (11%) and review the case for increasing it further; we would also ensure that the distribution of funding reflects the local need.

‘We would always consider whether services currently offered in or by hospitals could be transferred to the community.’

It added: ‘[I]t’s primary care that is most important in dealing with the problems before they become acute and require costly and distressing interventions such as admission to hospital.’

The Greens are also pledging to encourage ‘cooperation’ between all primary care providers, improve air pollution levels, and treat drug addictions as a ‘health problem rather than a crime’.

The Conservative Party yesterday pledged to fund NHS England’s Five Year Forward View reform plans but this is the first party to pledge to raise the proportion of funding spent on primary care in line with GP leaders’ calls.