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#GPnews: Prime Minister pays tribute to ‘passionate NHS advocate’ Jeremy Hunt

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15:05 Prime Minister Theresa May paid tribute to health secretary Jeremy Hunt in her conference speech today.

She said: ‘The only party to ever cut spending on the NHS is not this party, but the Labour Party – that’s what they did in Wales.

‘And at the last election, it wasn’t the Labour Party that pledged to give the NHS the money it asked for to meet its five-year plan – it was this party, the Conservative Party, investing an extra £10 billion in the NHS – more than its leaders asked for.

‘And this year more patients are being treated, and more operations are being carried out, by more doctors and more nurses than ever before.

‘That’s a tribute to everyone who works in the NHS.

‘But also to one man – Jeremy Hunt – who is one of the most passionate advocates for patients and for the doctors, nurses and others who work in our health service that I have ever known.’

12:50 Elsewhere today, shadow health secretary Diane Abbott has attacked Jeremy Hunt’s plans to make doctors work in the NHS for at least four years upon qualification – as part of a £100m plan to make the NHS ‘self sufficient’ for doctor recruitment by 2025.

Mr Hunt’s also plans to make NHS in England less reliant on doctors trained overseas and locums and ensure ‘all domestic students with the skills and capability’ to be a doctor have the chance to do so.

But Ms Abbott argues the health secretary’s ‘anti-foreigner agenda will devastate the NHS’.

Writing for City AMthe Labour MP said: ‘The NHS already has a shortage of workers, including more than 6,000 doctors’ posts. It is part of the Brexit delusion to believe that these workers could readily be replaced from the domestic workforce.

‘Yet the government’s plan for the ridiculously low numbers of new UK-trained recruits is that they must be compelled to work in the NHS for a minimum of four years. Hunt uses the comparison of the army. But army recruits are not saddled with debt to pay for their own training.

‘This is a classic example of how all measures against foreign workers also restrict the rights and freedoms of workers here.’

9:55 More than eight in 10 areas need to improve if England is going to meet it target of developing ‘world class’ cancer care by 2020, an NHS England analysis has found.  

A review by NHS England looked at how every CCG were performing on waiting times, cancer survival, patient surveys and early diagnosis – but only 29 were classed as performing well enough to meet the targets set out in the 2015 cancer plan, the BBC reports

The review also revealed that two-thirds of areas are failing to achieve the target of ensuring 85% of cancer patients start treatment within 62 days of an urgent referral and over half are not seeing 70% of cancer patients survive for a year, another NHS England target.