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Labour promises 20,000 more nurses by 2025

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Labour Leader Ed Miliband has pledged that 20,000 more nurses will be recruited by 2025 if his party is elected to government.

In his speech at the Labour Party conference, Mr Miliband also promised to hire 3000 midwives, 8000 GPs and 5000 home care workers in the next decade. The proposals will be paid for with a £2.5 billion annual fund, raised by cracking down on tax avoidance and a levy on properties worth over £2 million. Labour also plans to charge tobacco firms so that they make a larger contribution to the treatment of tobacco-related illness.

In response to the speech, Dr Peter Carter, the RCN's chief executive, said: 'These proposals are not only very welcome, but investing in nursing is absolutely necessary, whoever wins the next election. We need to celebrate the difference nurses can make if they are properly resourced across the board, whether they are staffing an A&E unit, delivering public health messages, helping a patient to manage their diabetes or providing long-term care at home.'

The RCGP's chair, Maureen Baker, also welcomed the announcement and what it means for primary care, saying: 'Today's announcement, if translated into action, would help to pull general practice back from the brink of disaster and pave the way for a revitalised and refreshed GP service. We are particularly pleased that this announcement is part of a wider package that includes the recruitment of more practice nurses, district nurses and home care.'

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