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Politics Labour says the Tories have caused the ‘biggest financial squeeze’ on the NHS in its history

LABOUR accused the government of plunging the NHS into the “biggest financial squeeze in its history” during health questions in the Commons today.

Shadow health minister Justin Madders claimed there was a “workforce crisis exacerbated by badly thought out policies,” including abolition of bursaries that enabled student nurses to survive while undergoing front line training on hospital wards.

“Yesterday the RCN [Royal College of Nursing] reported on the total failure of government policies to increase the nursing workforce,” he said.

Mr Madders told MPs the government had hoped to recruit 1,000 trainees to the nursing apprenticeship but “ended up with just 30.”

“And this year the numbers applying to university to study nursing has so far fallen by a staggering 33 per cent,” he said.

“We have a workforce crisis exacerbated by badly thought-out policies, so isn’t it time that he [Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt] admitted that scrapping the bursary was a mistake?”

Shadow health and social care secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: "Integration of health and social care needs more funding and yet the NHS is going through the biggest financial squeeze in its history and social care has been cut by billions since 2010.

“The minister a few moments ago said the funding is adequate, but, if funding is adequate, why then are delayed discharges of care up 50 per cent since 2010?

“If funding is adequate across health and social care, why did NHS England on Friday say for the rest of this year the A&E target has effectively been abandoned?”

Care Minister Caroline Dinenage promised that the Tories would bring forward a green paper on social care later this year.

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