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Thursday, 9 April 2015

Lib Dems pledge to fund NHS digital revolution

The Liberal Democrats have announced they will help drive a digital revolution in the NHS by funding new technology in a bid to create a paperless NHS, Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg pledged today. 

They say they will set aside £250m from the profits of the sale of redundant NHS assets to fund new technologies in the health service.

They say this one-off “Transformation Fund” will help fund the changes NHS boss Simon Stevens has said will be needed in the next Parliament. 

The money will be used to make more doctor appointments and repeat prescriptions available online. It will also improve GP access by encouraging more patients to contact their doctors by Skype.

This call for new technology, along with £8bn in extra funding, are the key requests in Simon Stevens’ report into the future of the NHS. The party says that only the Liberal Democrats have committed to this funding and committed to introducing the new technology the health service needs.

By committing to Simon Steven’s Five Year Forward View, we will spend £17bn more than the Tories and £7bn more than Labour on the NHS. This means we can pay for 5 million more operations than the Conservatives, and hire 150,000 more nurses and 38,000 more GPs than Labour.

Making the announcement Nick Clegg said: "The NHS doesn’t need warm words, it needs hard cash. And we know exactly how much because the boss of NHS England has told us – an extra £8bn-a-year by 2020. The Liberal Democrats are the only party that has committed to finding that money and the only one that has set out how it will pay for it." 

Mr Clegg continued: "But we also need to help the NHS adapt so it is fit for the challenges of the 21st century.That’s why we have a plan to introduce modern technology that will help patients, with more doctors’ appointments and repeat prescriptions at the touch of a button."

"Both Ed Miliband and David Cameron have ignored the experts on this. Only the Liberal Democrats have listened." Nick Clegg added.