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NHS campaigners to deliver 170,000-strong petition to Downing Street calling for increased funding

HEALTH workers and campaigners from the alliance SOS NHS are set to join MPs on Tuesday to deliver a petition of over 170,000 signatures to Downing Street.

The petition calls on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to deliver increased NHS funding ahead of the spring Budget on Wednesday.

Campaigners hope to raise awareness of the urgent need for extra money to help the NHS recover from the pandemic and obtain fairer pay for health workers during a recruitment and retention crisis.

Nurse Holly Johnston, from petition organisers NHS Workers Say No, said that the situation for patients and staff “will not improve without urgent funding.”

She said: “The safety of patients continues to be compromised, we have waiting lists that are never-ending and staff are leaving over conditions and pay. 

“Meanwhile the cost-of-living crisis continues to grow and will put even more pressure on the NHS — with deepening health inequality and staff unable to pay for fuel to be able to work and struggling with bills.”

Keep Our NHS Public co-chairman Dr John Puntis said: “If austerity politics had not reduced the historical annual uplift to funding, the NHS would have had £200 billion more in its coffers.

“With current spending plans, this funding gap will rise to £300bn by 2025.

“Rather than waste money by throwing it at the private sector, we are calling on the chancellor to invest in the NHS, pay staff properly and make a £20bn down payment to begin urgently needed work to start putting services back on their feet.

“The NHS is even more vital as inflation and cost-of-living rises continue to wreak havoc on households, consigning millions to poverty.”

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