‘Proposals for bed charges in the NHS show real depth of funding crisis’

Reacting to comments from Rob Webster, chief executive of the NHS confederation, that hospital patients could be asked to pay for their “bed and board” if funding does not match increasing demand, local Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop said:

“David Cameron chose to put the NHS on this financial knife-edge when he wasted £3 billion on a damaging re-organisation. The comments from Rob Webster clearly show how deep the funding crisis within the NHS is and many residents in my constituency of Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland will be furious at the prospect of having to pay £75 per night to stay in a hospital – a time when they are at their most vulnerable.

“Everywhere you look there are signs of an NHS now heading rapidly in the wrong direction. Patients are already seeing waiting times and cancer care heading downhill – people will fear that much worse will be in store next year.”

Labour has pledged an extra £2.5 billion over and above Tory plans to pay for 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 GPs. David Cameron has failed to match that investment.

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