Norman Lamb: The NHS will "crash" without £1.5bn extra funding

NHS Hospital

Lib Dem health minister, Norman Lamb, has urged the Chancellor to find £1.5bn of extra funding before the next election to ensure the NHS does not "crash".

Liberal Democrat health minister, Norman Lamb, has urged the Chancellor, George Osborne, to pledge extra funds for the NHS in the Autumn statement.

Mr Lamb warned that an extra £1.5bn is necessary before the next general election to prevent the NHS from suffering a "crash". He says that it is also vital that an extra £1bn is poured into the health system a year to maintain standards:

"The NHS could crash, this is the risk.

"If we don't get the additional resource, then you would see increasing numbers of trusts getting into financial difficulty, you would see growing numbers of people waiting longer for access to treatment, and longer waiting lists to get to see your GP.

"None of this we want, and I think we have to grasp the nettle now and acknowledge that the system needs more resources."

Although the government states that they have already increased funding by £5bn, shadow health secretary, Andy Burnham, slammed Mr Lamb's statement:

"You can't trust a word the Lib Dems say. If the NHS is facing a crash then it is as a result of their and the Tories' policies.

"This is breathtaking hypocrisy, even for the Lib Dems. Thanks to them it's getting harder to see your GP, waiting lists are up and £3bn has been wasted on a top-down reorganisation while frontline staff have been lost.

"This is the record of this Government: an NHS going backwards under the Tories, made possible thanks to the support and the votes of the Lib Dems.

"Rather than bickering amongst themselves the Lib Dems and Tories should be focussing on fixing the mess they've made of the NHS."

Since the coalition government came to power, many people have criticised their attempts to privatise the NHS. Private firms have been given NHS contracts over the last few years, with many claiming that money is being wasted to cater to a conservative viewpoint.

In the next five years, the NHS is expected to see an overall shortfall of £30bn. At a time where budgets are being squeezed further by the impact of the ageing population, obesity, and more people visiting A&E, it is vital that the NHS sees the investment it so needs to be able to function correctly.