David Cameron 180The Conservative Party has launched its full manifesto including a pledge to give at least an additional £8bn by 2020 over and above inflation to fund and support the NHS’ Five Year Forward View.

In unveiling his party's proposals should they win May's General Election, Prime Minister David Cameron also said they would extend GP and health services to seven days a week.

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Commenting on the proposals, Director of Policy at the Health Foundation Richard Taunt said: “Based on Health Foundation analysis and research, the additional £8bn by 2020/21 is the absolute minimum the NHS will need to cope with growing pressures over the next five years and we welcome a commitment by any party to provide that amount. However, three areas need clarity - where will the money come from? How will they pay for service improvements? How will they support the NHS to improve productivity?

“We urge political parties making any funding commitment to explain exactly where they will find the money. In particular we would welcome clarity on whether this money will come from cuts in other department budgets, which could ultimately have an impact on the NHS.

“A promise to extend services to seven days a week would require resources in addition to the £8bn needed just to maintain the range and quality of care the NHS currently provides. Parties pledging to extend services would have to explain where extra funding to make these service improvements would come from.

“It is also worth bearing in mind that NHS hospitals have only improved productivity at an average rate of 0.4% a year over this parliament, with productivity having gone backwards over the last two years. This is substantially below the 2-3% set out in the NHS Five year forward view as being required, along with the £8bn additional resource, to close the NHS funding gap.”

The manifesto also says that a Conservative government would enforce the new access and waiting time standards for people experiencing mental ill health including children and young people.

As well as this, the Tories would ensure that women have access to mental health support during and after pregnancy, while strengthening the health visiting programme for new mothers.