A group of health leaders, including the heads of the British Medical Association and Royal Colleges of Nursing, Physicians, General Practitioners and others, as well as degenerative conditions charities has written to the leaders of the three major parties to stress that the NHS and social care are “at a breaking point”. The letter highlights that the drive for efficiencies has affected the quality of services, GP, maternity, A&E, mental and others, with social care also facing problems. The letter welcomes the recent spending announcements and the fact that the NHS has risen “to the top of the political agenda” and calls for “a comprehensive, fully costed, long-term spending plan” to secure the system. The health leaders add that the NHS has to be protected from another top-down reorganisation.
Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has said that the party was examining a cut in the lifetime allowance on pensions tax relief to £1 million from £1.25 million and tax shares to raise £1 billion for NHS investment. The proposals will be voted on at the Liberal Democrat Conference this week.
Elsewhere, Labour has announced that their NHS funding commitment for an extra £2.5 billion annually will be available only halfway through the next Parliament, as the proposed mansion tax, levy on tobacco firms and measures to tackle tax avoidance would have to be legislated and a budget would have to be passed first.