Ed Miliband has restated that the NHS is central to its general election campaign, in a speech made at Labour’s spring conference on Saturday.
As previously announced by the party in the autumn, a range of NHS access commitments and promises of more staff make up one of Labour’s election pledges.
Reiterating the staffing commitment, Mr Miliband said: “Our third pledge is focused on the bedrock of security for working families, our National Health Service…
“We need to rescue the NHS from this government and we will,” he said. “With 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more doctors, 5,000 more care workers, and 3,000 more midwives.
Mr Miliband said the extra staff would be paid for by a “mansion tax on properties worth over £2m” and by closing “tax loopholes exploited by hedge funds”, a collective source of revenue that the party has previously dubbed its “time to care fund”.
“That’s the way to ensure that those who look after us have time to care and aren’t rushed off their feet,” said the Labour leader.
He added: “We will make sure people can see a GP within 48 hours. That cancer test results come back within a week. And we will build a world leading physical health, mental health and social care service – joining up services from home to hospital.”