The National Health Action Party has pledged support for ‘the traditional model of British general practice’, including a call for 10,000 more GPs and the reversal of NHS privatisation at the heart of its general election manifesto.
The party, founded mainly by NHS staff in opposition to the Health and Social Care Act 2012, is calling for increased funding of GP services and the freeing of GPs from financial pressures on their decision making.
They say that general practice should be ‘supported by primary care teams working in defined areas, distributed fairly, based on long-term relationships with patients and underpinned by the vital concept of continuity of care’.
The manifesto promises an immediate £4.5 billion investment in the NHS and sufficient investment to close the £30 billion funding gap which has been predicted to open by 2020.
Funding would be raised through income tax increases and a crackdown on tax avoidance, and money saved by scrapping the internal market, renegotiating PFI deals and stopping spending on ‘unnecessary locums’ and management consultants.
The party says: ‘We must restore the NHS as a safe, comprehensive, publicly funded, publicly delivered and publicly accountable integrated healthcare system’.
The NHA’s leader, Dr Clive Peedell, said his is ‘the only party that is serious about fixing our NHS’.
‘We’re the only party that is talking about an immediate cash injection for the NHS. We are the only party that is prepared to back up its pledges with a real commitment. We’re fighting for a healthy NHS that puts patients before profits.’
The party is fielding 12 candidates at the election, including Dr Peedell, a cancer specialist who is standing against David Cameron in Witney, and Dr Louise Irvine, a GP from Lewisham who is standing against Jeremy Hunt in South West Surrey.
Their manifesto launch came on the same day as Sir David Nicholson, the former head of the NHS in England, warned that politicians are ignoring the scale of the NHS’s funding problem during the election campaign.