Richard calls for emergency Health and Care Budget after election

28 Jun 2024
Richard Foord speaking to someone with the Houses of Parliament in the background

Richard Foord has backed calls by the Liberal Democrats for an emergency budget to in the first weeks of the new Parliament, whatever the outcome of the election, so that health services in Devon can get the urgent support they need. 

The Liberal Democrats have put saving the NHS at the heart of their manifesto, with proposals to boost GP numbers by 8,000, end dental deserts, ensure patients start cancer treatment within 62 days of an urgent referral, increase the number of hospital beds in both major and community hospitals, and to end excessive ambulance handover delays.

The Liberal Democrat manifesto has set out proposals for an extra £9.4 billion a year of spending on the NHS and care. This investment would be funded through closing loopholes in Capital Gains Tax and reversing the Conservative Party’s tax cuts for the big banks.

In addition, Mr Foord is calling for the new Government to act immediately to save Seaton Hospital by instructing NHS Property Services, which is government-owned company, to introduce a new rental tariff to allow community groups and charities to rent vacant space in existing NHS facilities for a nominal sum.

Richard Foord said:

“Here in Devon, our rural and coastal health services are on their knees. So many people I speak to on the doorstep have harrowing stories of not being able to get the care they need when they need it.

“This includes long waits for an ambulance, being unable to get an NHS dentist, and struggling to see a GP when they are feeling unwell. This lack of emergency and preventative treatment is merely stacking up problems for the future.

“We’ve also seen this Conservative government refusing to support our local community hospitals. Instead of securing the future Seaton Hospital, which is at risk of seeing a whole ward ripped away, they have chosen to keep its future in doubt.

“Ending the crisis in our NHS must be the top priority of any government after the election. We must rescue our local health services, which have been pushed to the brink by the Conservative party, before they collapse around us.

“An emergency budget right after the election is the only way we can start to repair the damage done to our communities' health services. People in Devon should not have to wait a moment longer to get the care they deserve.”

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