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  1. ITV Report

Election 2017: What are the four main parties planning for the future of the NHS?

The state of the National Health Service is one issue that appears to be growing in importance as the election campaign heats up, especially in light of last week's cyber attack.

A few of the most recent opinion polls have put the NHS at the top of the list of voters' concerns, with many worried about growing waiting lists and plunging staff morale.

We put the subject to a panel of local politicians who outlined their solutions for how they would protect the future of our health service.

  • Richard Bacon (Conservative)
Richard Bacon and the Conservatives are adamant that only they can offer a strong enough economy to keep the NHS going. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Every single year since the creation of the NHS in the 1940s, the NHS has had extra money and it will continue to have extra money under a Conservative government.

We've got to get radically better at the way in which we manage the NHS so that we don't waste so much money. Every night in local hospitals you will find many people who shouldn't be there because the social care system doesn't work, even though in certain parts of the country they've fixed that and are saving huge amounts of money.

The key thing though is, unless you have a strong economy, you can't afford to pay for the excellent healthcare we need and if you want a strong economy, you have to vote Conservative on the 8th June.

– Richard Bacon
  • Clive Lewis (Labour)
Labour's Clive Lewis has backed his party's pledge to invest an extra £30 billion in the NHS. Credit: ITV News Anglia

We've said that we'll invest an extra £30 billion over five years and we'll be paying for that by making sure it's taxed on the 5% of highest earners in this country.

We'll also be halving the amount of money that we pay to management consultants and also increasing the amount of tax that people pay on private medical insurance.

It's not just about money going into the NHS though, it's about staff as well. We've said we'll take away the 1% pay cap which is in effect a pay cut on nurses who are basically holding the NHS together.

I think people understand that the NHS is part of Labour's DNA and if you want the NHS to survive and get out of the crisis it's currently in, then you're going to need to vote Labour on June 8th.

– Clive Lewis
  • Norman Lamb (Liberal Democrats)
Norman Lamb fears for the future of the NHS if the Conservatives increase their majority. Credit: ITV News Anglia

I don't want to live in a country where people with money can get access to care quickly and everyone else is left waiting, so we would put income tax up by a penny which would raise £6 billion a year, or £30 billion over five years.

With that money, we can make a massive difference to the NHS. We can ensure that people with mental heath problems can get access to treatment that at the moment they simply do not get, but also people with cancer and other serious conditions get access quickly.

We would lift the pay cap so that we treat staff fairly as well. My real concern though is that with the Tories in control, and with a blank cheque, I fear for the future of the NHS and for vulnerable people across our country.

– Norman Lamb
  • Pete Reeve (UKIP)
Pete Reeve from UKIP says his party would cut the foreign aid budget to allow more funds for the NHS. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Unlike the other parties, our policies are very clear and very consistent.

On funding, we will scrap the biggest part of the foreign aid budget, leaving £3 billion for real foreign aid i.e disaster relief, but that gives us a £10 billion budget to spend on health and social care in the UK - putting British people first.

There is a huge problem with staffing and staff retention and I think both the old parties should be very ashamed of themsleves in the way they've not planned for staffing of the NHS.

Another area UKIP are very concerned about is the integration of social care and the NHS so that we don't get in a situation that is undermining the NHS which is bed-blocking.

– Pete Reeve
  • The state of the NHS in our region

Before the debate, we showed the panel a report featuring the views of people currently working on the frontline in the health service.

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