The letter, warning politicians about the state of the National Health Service was signed by the heads of:
- The British Medical Association
- The Royal College of Nursing
- The Royal College of GPs
- The Alzheimer's Society
- The Anthony Nolan Trust
- The MS Society
- The Royal National Institute of Blind People
- The Teenage Cancer Trust
- The Family Doctor Association
- The Faculty of Public Health
In the letter the groups said:
The NHS and our social care services are at breaking point and things cannot go on like this. An NHS deficit of £30 billion is predicted by 2020 - a funding black hole that must be filled.
While we welcome the fact that the NHS has risen to the top of the political agenda, and some new spending commitments have been made, we need a comprehensive, fully costed, long-term spending plan if an NHS true to its founding principles of universal healthcare, provided according to need not ability to pay, is secured for future generations.
It must also take into account the need for vital social care. This will also require a guarantee that the NHS will be protected from another top-down reorganisation which is not in the best interests of patients, and distracts from the severe, long-term funding pressures facing the health service. The NHS, social services, health and care professionals and above all, the British people, deserve no less.
Political promises of extra cash for the NHS are insufficient to address a funding crisis that is putting at risk the founding principles of the health service, an influential coalition of doctors, nurses and medical charities has warned.
In an open letter to the leaders of all three major political parties published by the Independent, leading organisations said "the longest, and most damaging budget squeeze" in NHS history had left it at "breaking point", with patients increasingly feeling the effects.
Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt has launched a scathing attack on David Cameron after the Prime Minister singled him out during his speech to the Tory conference.
Mr Hunt claimed Mr Cameron's remarks were a "highly personalised attack on me, my family and upbringing" and showed he "has moved on little since his time as a low-rent PR man".
Writing in the Observer, Mr Hunt labels Mr Cameron "the frat-boy prime minister who spills confidences about the Queen and covers up policy failure with personal attacks".
Iain Duncan Smith has indicated that the UK must be allowed to curb European migration in return for staying in the EU.
The Work and Pensions Secretary said individual states should be able to fix the number of EU migrants they let through their borders.
“Control needs to be in the hands of individual nations if they remain in Europe,” the Work and Pensions Secretary told the Sunday Telegraph..
Referring to UK demands for EU reform, Mr Duncan Smith claimed European leaders were now saying to each other "these people genuinely look like they are on the way out unless we do something".
He also warned high rates of migration risked causing "civil unrest" in some area.
Ed Balls claims the tax measures unveiled by David Cameron at the Tory conference amount to a 'Strivers' tax' that will hit 3 million working people.
Writing on his blog, the Shadow Chancellor singled out cuts to tax credits, saying: "It’s a Strivers' Tax which will cost a one earner family with two children on £25,000 a year almost £500."
He implied the policy would cost the Tories at next year's election, as 260,000 families hit by tax credit cuts live in the 50 most vulnerable Conservative seats.
GPs are leaving due to a combination of increased workload and a lack of funding, according to one GP.Read the full story ›
Nick Clegg has hit back at Home Secretary Theresa May's "appaling" claim that the Liberal Democrats had put "children at risk" by rejecting the "snooper's charter" bill in Parliament.
The Deputy Prime Minister said he had written to May demanding an apology for the "false and outrageous" claim during her speech at the Conservative Party conference this week.
In the address, May said the move by the Liberal Democrats to vote against the draft Communications Data Bill had meant the National Crime Agency had to drop "at least twenty cases" - including some where children's lives were at risk - due to missing communications data.
Clegg said the comments marked a "new low" in coalition government relations - adding that Home Office "inactivity" had instead been to blame.
"To say [...] 'you are putting children at risk' when it's not true is a level of outrageous misinformation I have not witnessed in the four and a half years I have been in this government," he said on his regular LBC phone-in.
General Practice is under so much strain it forces doctors to "work flat out all the time", a long-serving GP told Good Morning Britain.
Dr Neil Thomas said so many patients had come to rely on NHS GPs, it had wiped out the seasonal element of the work and services were already over-crowded for this time of year.
Thousands of sick people may soon be unable to see a doctor because there are not enough GPs, experts have warned.Read the full story ›
The Prime Minister's pledges played well at the Conservative Party conference, but how will voters react.
ITV News' Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship has been gauging reaction in four marginal seats - important election battlegrounds.