BMA welcomes Labour pledge of £37bn new deal for NHS

A Labour government would increase NHS funding by £37bn over the next parliament as part of a 'new deal' for the health service, the party's leader Jeremy Corbyn announced on Monday.

In a speech that won a standing ovation at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) annual conference in Liverpool, Mr Corbyn set out NHS pledges to cut waiting times, tackle winter pressures, boost cancer care and deliver capital investment.

The Labour NHS proposals pledge:

  • £37bn extra NHS funding in the next parliament, including £10bn of capital funding for buildings and IT equipment.
  • Guarantee treatment within 18 weeks to take '1m people off NHS waiting lists'.
  • Ensure patients are seen within four hours in A&E.
  • Create a new £500m winter pressures fund
  • Deliver the Cancer Strategy for England in full by 2020.

Mr Corbyn told the RCN conference: 'This is about having a health service for the many. In the past seven years the Tories have driven our NHS into crisis.'

NHS cyber attack

The Labour leader hit out at A&E departments struggling to cope, soaring waiting lists, and cuts that had 'exposed patient services to cyber attack'.

'Imagine what would happen to the NHS if the Conservatives under Theresa May were to have another five years in power,' Mr Corbyn said. 'It would be unrecognisable: an NHS 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 £37bn over the course of the next parliament, including £10bn 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.'

NHS new deal

Labour shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: 'Ahead of the NHS’s 70th birthday Labour is promising to give the NHS the resources it needs to deliver the best possible service for patients right across the country.

Clinicians, experts and patients have all been calling for a significant cash boost to the NHS. We’ve listened to those calls and we agree.

BMA chair Dr Mark Porter said: 'The NHS is chronically understaffed and underfunded, so the promise of additional investment is desperately needed. It is important to remember, however, that the funding gap in the NHS will soon hit £30bn a year. This is having a devastating impact on patients who are facing unacceptably long delays in care, and staff who are working under impossible conditions in an NHS at breaking point.

'Doctors are calling on the next government to, as a minimum, bring spending on the NHS in line with other European countries, which would see it rise by more than £10bn a year. This is will only go some way to plugging the enormous funding gap however, and if the NHS is to survive, it needs credible and sustainable plans to deliver the fully funded and supported NHS that staff want and patients deserve.'

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