Labour to pledge an additional £37 billion of funding for the NHS

Jeremy Corbyn is hoping to improve A&E performances and take one million patients off NHS waiting lists 

Sunday 14 May 2017 22:30
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Jeremy Corbyn outside the James Paget Hospital in Great Yarmouth
Jeremy Corbyn outside the James Paget Hospital in Great Yarmouth

Jeremy Corbyn is pledging an additional £37 billion for the NHS to improve A&E performances.

The extra funding will also take approximately one million patients off NHS waiting lists.

Labour’s plans will guarantee patients with the most urgent needs are seen within an hour at A&E departments and also commit to meeting the existing 18-week waiting list target.

There are also plans to tackle bed blocking by introducing a new target for delayed discharge of patients.

Labour will introduce a new target for delayed discharge of patients, ensuring 80 per cent of patients are released from hospital with an appropriate care package within a week of being deemed ready to go home.

A new £500 million fund has also been proposed to ensure the NHS avoids a winter crisis and 2.5 million cancer patients are helped by delivering in full the cancer strategy for England.

Speaking at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Conference in Liverpool, Mr Corbyn will say: "This is about having a health service for the many.

“In the past seven years the Tories have driven our National Health Service into crisis.

"A&E departments are struggling to cope. Waiting lists are soaring and, and as we saw last week, Tory cuts have exposed patient services to cyber attack.

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"Imagine what would happen to the NHS if the Conservatives under Theresa May were to have another five years in power.

"It would be unrecognisable: a national health service in name, cut back, broken up and plundered by private corporations. Only Labour will put the NHS back on its feet.

"Today we are pledging an extra £37 billion over the course of the next Parliament, including £10 billion of capital funding to make sure that NHS buildings and IT systems are fit for the modern day.

"That investment will mean the NHS will be able to guarantee treatment within 18 weeks and ensure those needing A&E services are seen within four hours.

"You can't trust the Tories with our NHS. Labour founded the NHS and we will restore it to good health."

Funding for the additional expenditure for the NHS will come from tax rises for the top five per cent of earners, with additional money from increases to corporation tax and a higher-rate insurance premium tax on private medical insurance.

Money will also come from Labour's "national transformation fund" for capital expenditure and the previously-announced plan to lift the 1% cap on pay rises will also be funded from corporation tax.

A Conservative spokesman said: "Jeremy Corbyn can't deliver any of this because his nonsensical economic policies would damage our economy and mean less money for the NHS, not more.

"Just look at Wales where Labour cut funding for the NHS.

"We are putting an extra £10 billion into the NHS and with strong and stable leadership from Theresa May we will be able to secure the strong economy our NHS needs."

Liberal Democrat health spokesman Norman Lamb said: "You cannot solve the crisis in our NHS and social care services by simply imposing more top-down targets on staff and plucking numbers out of thin air.

"The Liberal Democrats are the only party with a fully costed plan to deliver £6 billion more per year for the NHS and social care by putting a penny on income tax.

"This is a plan endorsed by senior health experts including the former head of NHS England David Nicholson.

"We will be honest with the public that giving the NHS and social care the funding they need will mean us all chipping in a little more."

Agencies contributed to this report

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