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LibDems pledge £8bn NHS funding by 2020

The NHS will receive an additional £8bn in annual funding by 2020 if the Liberal Democrats win the general election, the front page of their 2015 election manifesto reveals.

Though primarily focussing on education, the manifesto sets the NHS as one of five priorities for the party, and in particular closing the disparity in health outcomes between mental and physical health.

This comes as health and care minister and Lib Dem MP Norman Lamb told a conference yesterday that some GPs ‘come out with rubbish’ on mental health issues.

In a speech in the Tory seat of Oxford West and Abingdon later today, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg is expected to say: ‘A fairer society means properly funding our world class public services – investing in them as the economy grows and making sure the NHS has the extra £8bn a year it needs by 2020.

‘But world class public services are about more than just numbers, they are about people’s lives. That’s why we are determined to end the stigma against mental health and guarantee it is given the same status in the NHS as physical health.’

The manifesto doesn’t give details on where this £8bn will come from, but does include plans to cut income tax by raising the tax-free allowance to £12,500.

Responding to the manifesto Rob Webster, chief executive of the NHS Confederation said: ‘As important as the commitment to additional funding is their continued focus on mental health services. A move to considering whole person care is an essential shift in our thinking about the purpose and role of the NHS in the 21st Century.

‘The commitment to an extra £8bn investment in the NHS per year reflects one of the future scenarios we face. We know by 2020 the NHS will need at least this amount of extra funding each year along with £22bn of efficiencies delivered.’

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