Observations UK General Election

Election watch: NHS funding

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h2009 (Published 15 April 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h2009
  1. Gareth Iacobucci, news reporter, The BMJ
  1. giacobucci{at}bmj.com

In the second of a weekly column in the run up to polling day on 7 May, Gareth Iacobucci looks at the crucial issue of funding, which has been the focus of much debate this week

Labour and the Conservatives clashed over their NHS funding pledges this week, as the main political parties launched their pre-election manifestos.

The head of NHS England, Simon Stevens, has estimated that the next government—whichever party or parties it comprises—will need to find an additional 1.5% above inflation each year as a bare minimum between now and 2020 to close the projected £30bn (€41.5bn; $44bn) gap in funding. This is projected to amount to an extra £8bn over the next five years, on the basis of NHS achieving £22bn in efficiency savings.1

The current coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats and the Tories, have each committed to this £8bn target,2 but Labour has not, accusing the Tories of making unfunded promises.

Ahead of …

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