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Election latest: what’s happening in the final week of campaigning

Election latest: what’s happening in the final week of campaigning
By Beth Gault
2 July 2024

The political parties have continued to campaign, making their final promises ahead of the general election on Thursday.

This week, Labour committed to a review of the additional roles reimbursement scheme (ARRS) and to cut GP bureaucracy if elected.

Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said he will review the scheme if he was to become the next health secretary and will ‘consult with GPs’ regarding what unnecessary GP bureaucracy needs to be cut.

The party will also provide a financial incentive for practices to provide continuity of care where patients want this. But, its pledge to improve the NHS App will come from within existing funds for digital transformation, it added.

Mr Streeting said: ‘Labour will provide the investment and reform needed to get patients seen on time again and bring back the family doctor.

‘In 2024, patients should not have to queue up at 8am on the phone to book an appointment, or worse still queue around the block. We will end the 8am scramble by allowing patients to easily book appointments to see the doctor they want, in the manner they choose.’

The Liberal Democrats have pledged to scrap VAT on kids’ toothpaste and toothbrushes if they are the party elected to government this week.

This plan would be part of an emergency health and care budget within four weeks of the general election, which would set out measures to ‘rescue’ local health and social care services.

They also stated their previous pledges to give patients the right to see a GP within seven days and the right to start cancer treatment within 62 days will be ‘enshrined’ in the NHS constitution as part of a patients’ charter.

Leader of the Conservative party and prime minister, Rishi Sunak, meanwhile reiterated that his party would expand the Pharmacy First service if re-elected, at a Q&A with staff at a drug distribution facility in Staffordshire yesterday (1 July).

He added that the party has made some progress on ambulance waiting times while in government and has put record funding into the NHS.

It comes as a study found that the ARRS scheme has slightly improved patient access and satisfaction. 

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