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One-to-one nursing pledge dropped

Plans made by the previous government to improve cancer services and provide free prescriptions for people with long-term conditions "will not be taken forward", under plans announced by the Chancellor.

The Comprehensive Spending Review stated that Labour's plans to introduce one-to-one nursing care for cancer patients and a one-week cancer diagnostic waiting target were not affordable.

The spending review says: "The NHS has already committed to make up to £20bn of annual efficiency savings by the end of the spending review period through the quality, innovation, productivity and prevention (QIPP) programme.

"To ensure spending is focused on priorities, some programmes announced by the previous government but not yet implemented will not be taken forward.

"This includes free prescriptions for people with long-term conditions, the right to one-to-one nursing for cancer patients, and the target of a one week wait for cancer diagnostics."

The Labour government announced the one-to-one commitment in February, claiming that it would reduce hospital admissions and save £2.5bn.

Meanwhile, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) estimates more than 10,000 posts have closed in recent months.

RCN chief executive, Dr Peter Carter, said: "We welcome the government's commitment to a real terms increase in NHS funding.

"However, the reality is that this small increase at a time of soaring demand and the rising costs of healthcare will still feel like a cut."

Copyright © Press Association 2010


Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

"The whole thing is unfair and I don't know why people voted for them. I am not surprised because they are the same  government some years back - was it good? If it was then it is going to get better but I for instance do not trust them a bit" - Sandra Cerrys Fraizer-Jali

"Well, I did not vote for either of the coalition partners - they are straight back in and up to their old tricks again. When will people realise that the Tories do not want an NHS dominated healthcare in the UK, they want to see a predominantly private USA style service. They really are so predictable. I'm only sorry so many were sucked in by them. There are plenty of us out here who could well do without subsidised drugs - I for one who because I need daily thyroxine also get all my drugs free. I'm also 60 (free drugs) but still working I'd gladly give up that if ie cancer patients, MS patients could have free medicines for the duration of need. All this upheaval is about Tory political ideology - not what is good for the nations health... Shame on the coalition" - M Wood, Worcestershire

"I think it is heartless and callous, immoral and unethical of the coalition government not to implement the programme to include free prescriptions for people with long-term conditions, the right to one-to-one nursing for cancer patients and the target of a one-week wait for cancer diagnostics proposed by the previous Labour government. It is the poor and working
class members of society who will be affected as the rich will be able to access private care" - Gale McCallum, Glasgow

"Newly diagnosed cancer patients will obviously suffer under this coalition government. The sad thing is that the Lib Dems are supporting these cutbacks that are harming hard working poor families" - Morel D' Souza