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Labour promise 20,000 more nurses

Ed Miliband on campaign trail.
Ed Miliband on campaign trail.
Ed Miliband on campaign trail.

Labour says it will launch a drive to get 1,000 more nurses into training this year if it wins the election.

Ed Miliband will say the emergency move would form part of Labour’s bid for 20,000 more nurses by 2020 reports BBC.

He will add that if elected he will ask universities to reopen admissions for highly-oversubscribed nursing courses.

The Conservatives say they inherited a nursing crisis from Labour, with staff shortages contributing to the Stafford hospital scandal between 2005 and 2008.

“We have turned that round with record high nurse numbers on our wards and a new focus on compassionate care”, a spokesman said.

The Tories have already pledged an extra £8bn by 2020 a year for the NHS in England if they win the election but their opponents say they have not explained where the money will come from.

In a speech on Tuesday to student nurses at Manchester Metropolitan University, the Labour leader will highlight new figures to emerge through Freedom of Information (FOI) requests which suggest one third of NHS Trusts were investigated last year over concerns about safe staffing.

Mr Miliband will say this disclosure follows reports in the last week showing the number of people waiting over four hours at accident and emergency departments has risen by over 50% compared to last year.

“Two thirds of nurses say patients are missing out on care because there just aren’t enough nurses on the wards,” he will claim.

“None of this has happened by accident. It has happened as a direct result of choices this government has made; cutting nurse training, failing to understand that if people don’t get the care they need at home and in their own communities, it ends up in an A&E crisis…”