Tories pledge 50,000 more NHS nurses and to bring back student bursaries

The Tories have pledged an extra 50,000 NHS nurses in a bid to plug the existing vacancy gap, which currently stands at more than 43,000.

The Conservative manifesto also reintroduces a nurse bursary – which the Government had scrapped – worth £5,000 to £8,000 per year.

Labour has said it will recruit 24,000 extra nurses and has pledged to reinstate NHS student bursaries worth £20,000 a year in maintenance and support.

The Tory manifesto says there will be 6,000 more doctors in GP surgeries and 6,000 more primary care staff such as physiotherapists and pharmacists.

In response to criticism from Labour, which said the NHS could be “up for sale” in trade talks, the manifesto says: “When we are negotiating trade deals, the NHS will not be on the table.”

On hospital parking in England, parking will become free for people with disabilities, frequent outpatients, parents of sick children staying overnight and NHS staff working night shifts. Parking is already free in Scotland and Wales.

As previously announced, there will be an extra £1 billion a year for social care and a promise of cross-party working, 50 million extra GP appointments per year – a rise of 15% on current levels – and  £34 billion more per year in real-terms NHS funding.

The Tories also re-iterated their commitment to 40 new hospitals and to sort out NHS pensions, which have led to rising waiting lists as senior doctors cut their hours in the face of hefty tax bills.

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