Labour’s £2.5bn pledge to ‘save’ the NHS is welcome but unclear Image

Labour’s £2.5bn pledge to ‘save’ the NHS is welcome but unclear

Posted: 24/09/2014

The Labour Party set out its vision at its annual conference this week to “save and transform” the NHS by an injection of £2.5bn. Labour aims to provide 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more GPs, 5,000 more care workers and 3,000 more midwives by 2020.  It also promised that it would make it easier to book GP appointments, raise standards of care at home and improve the safety of hospital patients. 

This “time to care” will be funded by raising £1.2bn a year through a ‘mansion’ tax on houses worth more than £2m and £1.1bn through a crackdown on “tax loopholes” used by hedge funds and other City firms. A further method of raising the funds will involve a levy on the profits of tobacco companies to contribute to the cost of treating smoking-related illnesses. 

Despite this, BBC health correspondent, Nick Triggle, said it was not clear what Labour’s £2.5bn pledge would mean for the NHS. He said: “The Coalition government has actually increased the budget by a similar amount in cash terms, but that only equates to 0.1% rises each year in real terms once you factor in inflation.”

Natalie Churney, a member of the Penningtons Manches clinical negligence team, said: “As a number of our cases involve neglect and negligence towards patients as a result of extremely busy hospitals without enough resources, it will be interesting to see if Labour’s pledge to increase NHS funding ever comes to fruition. Tackling problems such as low staffing levels would certainly have a positive effect on reducing the current levels of negligence and patient neglect.”

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