Jeremy Hunt urged to rethink NHS funding as he retains health secretary role

GP leaders have called on Jeremy Hunt to radically review the government's NHS spending plans after he was re-appointed as health secretary following last week's general election.

Mr Hunt has held onto his job in the cabinet reshuffle following the general election. He is the longest-serving health secretary ever, now approaching five years in the role.

GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey called on Mr Hunt to ‘listen to the messages they've heard loud and clear, that the public expect them to make the NHS a priority’.

Conservative spending plans for the NHS, he added, fall ‘far short of what is needed’.

Dr Vautrey called on the government to ‘radically review’ their plans and ‘instead properly provide the funding and staffing needed to ensure the survival of general practice and the wider NHS’.

NHS funding

Analysis by the Nuffield Trust think tank ahead of the election showed that Conservative plans for a minimum £8bn additional NHS funding over the parliament would bring total spending in 2022/23 to £131.7bn. But that would see health spending fall as a share of GDP to 7.0% compared with 7.3% today and 6.9% on current spending plans.

The Tories also pledged to bring forward the deadline for everyone in England to have seven-day access to GP services to 2019.

In the wake of last week’s election result BMA chair Dr Mark Porter urged the government to make the health service a priority and raise NHS funding in line with spending in other European countries.

Photo: iStock

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