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As much about the NHS as Brexit.

It isn't difficult to see that the NHS is struggling because it has been starved of adequate funding. £22 bn of so-called 'efficiency savings' have ripped it apart.

The Tories claim that funding has increased over the last decade. Of course, that is strictly true. But in real terms per capita, this is not so.

The population has increased by 6%, and the proportion of older people has also increased.   In future years, the UK population is set to grow further still.

The projected population surpasses 70 million in 2029 and reaches 72.9 million by 2041 – increases of 6.1% and 10.4%, respectively, from 2017 (figures from ONS).

As the population increases, so will the demands on health and care services.  A negligent government misunderstands that remorseless relationship.

The last Labour government pushed up spending on the NHS as a percentage of GDP following the commitment to raise the level to the average of European countries.   This saw waiting lists and times fall dramatically and improvements in delivery.

Historically, spending on the NHS has increased by 4% per year.   The Tories reduced this to barely 1%, far short of the funding needed to keep pace with rising demand.

The Nuffield Trust calculates that to put funding back to the level in 2010 would require increases of at least 4% per year.

So who do you trust on the NHS: The Tories, who have slashed per capita funding over the last decade and seen increased waiting lists and times and the collapse of in-house services, or Labour with its history of making NHS funding a priority.

Spending on Health is not a luxury we can't afford.   It is a necessary investment and part of our economic infrastructure.   A healthy population is a more productive one and less dependent on overstretched care services.

Brexit won't rescue the NHS. On the contrary, it puts it in jeopardy.   We need a government with the right priorities.





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