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Cameron planning ‘seven day’ NHS

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British Prime Minister David Cameron with Chancellor George Osborne.
British Prime Minister David Cameron with Chancellor George Osborne.
British Prime Minister David Cameron with Chancellor George Osborne.

Prime Minister David Cameron is planning to renew his vow to boost NHS funding and create a “seven-day” health service in his first major post-election speech.

He will commit to a pre-election pledge to increase budgets by at least £8bn a year by 2020, during his speech at a GP surgery in the West Midlands reports BBC.

Outlining the government plans, he will say the NHS is “safe in our hands”.

But doctors’ representatives said without detail the announcement was “empty headline-grabbing”.

The British Medical Association said the government was yet to explain how it would deliver additional care at a time of “chronic” doctor shortages.

Before the election, the Conservatives gave their backing to a plan by NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens to fill a funding gap estimated at £30bn a year by 2020.

This aims to make £22bn in efficiency savings, with the rest coming from taxpayers.

Labour said before the poll that Tory plans for “extreme” spending cuts threatened the NHS.

BBC health editor Hugh Pym said Mr Cameron had chosen the issue for his first major speech since the election to show “there is a real commitment to deliver” a seven-day NHS.

Mr Cameron is expected to describe the health service as the embodiment of “one nation” politics.

He will say the proposals will transform services across the country, with more GPs, faster access to new drugs and treatments.

They will also bring a greater focus on mental health and healthy living, he will say.

The PM is expected to say it is “shocking” how death rates for patients admitted to hospital on a Sunday are up to 16% higher than those admitted on a Wednesday and that a seven-day service would help save lives

“Our commitment to free healthcare for everyone – wherever you are and whenever you need it,” he will say.

“So I believe that together – by sticking to the plan – we can become the first country in the world to deliver a truly seven-day NHS.”