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Cameron addresses NHS staff about funding crisis

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David Cameron has announced that, unless there are radical changes throughout the NHS, it faces a funding crisis within the next four years. In a speech to NHS staff in Ealing yesterday he declared that sitting back and sticking with the “status quo” would create a funding gap of £20 billion. The PM stated that a crisis in funding would lead to over-crowded wards and fewer treatments before adding that borrowing more money was not a solution because we, “can’t afford to,” and asking people to start paying at the point of delivery wouldn’t be considered because, “the NHS must always be free to those who need it. There’s only one option we’ve got, and that is to change and modernise the NHS to make it more efficient and more effective and, above all, more focused on prevention and health not just sickness.”

Cameron assured staff that he would respond to Professor Steve Field’s “listening exercise” by the end of next month but noted some of the expected changes include; New GP led consortiums which will replace current Primary Care Trusts; No cherry picking of NHS services by private companies; and “Evolutionary and not revolutionary”changes.

The prime minister said the Labour leader, Ed Milliband, agreed that changes must be made, before adding that the government’s plans were a “logical development” of Labour’s reforms. Cameron concluded by saying, “It’s because I love the NHS so much that I want to change it, because the fact is the NHS needs to change. It needs to change to make it work better today and it needs to change to avoid a crisis tomorrow.”

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