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Open letter from professional leaders says 'NHS services at breaking point'

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Leading members of the healthcare profession written an open letter to leaders of the three main political parties, stating that NHS services are at breaking point.

The letter was signed by 16 professional leaders and charity executives, including Dr Peter Carter, chief executive of the RCN; Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the RCM; and Dr Maureen Baker, chief executive of the RCGP.

The signatories called for a comprehensive, fully costed, long-term spending plan to address the £30 billion deficit in NHS finances, as well as highlighting the need for protection against another costly, top-down reorganisation of the NHS.

It cited well known challenges facing the NHS such as demoralised staff, pressures on maternity services, and excessive waiting times as examples of the effect that budget cuts have had on patients and NHS services.

The letter called for the 'funding black hole' to be filled to maintain health and social care for the population and to ensure the NHS remained free to all at the point of delivery.

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