Statement from Dr Louise Irvine, National Health Action Party candidate for South West Surrey, challenging Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt:
“For the past 6 months, since Simon Stevens announced his five year plan for the NHS, the National Health Action Party has repeatedly warned that the £22bn of ‘efficiency savings’ are unfeasible and dangerous and will push an NHS that is already teetering on the brink right over the cliff-edge.
“With everyone focusing on whether or not the main parties are offering an extra £8bn per year by 2020, they have totally missed the fact that the Stevens plan is predicated on £22bn of impossible savings.
“The National Health Action Party has consistently argued that to subject the NHS which has already endured a £20 billion programme of ‘efficiency savings’ to another five years of even deeper cuts is reckless and potentially lethal.
“That’s why the NHA Party is calling for an immediate cash injection, tantamount to a £4.5 billion yearly increase, funded by a penny rise in income tax.
“We’d introduce other policies to free up billions of pounds for frontline care including scrapping the market, halting privatisation and unwinding PFI deals.
“We’d also invest in public health and social care which would bring massive savings in the longer term – and we’d ensure billions of pounds weren’t wasting on locums through better workforce planning and retention.
“We’re the only party that is confronting head-on the need for a secure financial basis for our NHS.
“The public should be very concerned that none of the main parties has a credible plan to fund the NHS properly.”