Cameron warned NHS could collapse in five years
Leading Tories join calls for prime minister to increase health spending now
Senior Tories are calling on David Cameron to significantly increase NHS spending after a former coalition health minister warned the service could collapse within five years.
Lib Dem Paul Burstow, who was minister of state for health, says he believes the NHS needs an extra £15bn from the Treasury over the next five years "if you don't want the system to collapse during the course of the next parliament".
Tory MP Sarah Wollaston, who was a GP for 20 years before becoming an MP in 2010, said: "If there is not an increase, it is hard to see how we could maintain current levels of service given the rising demand.”
Former Conservative health secretary Stephen Dorrell, said: "I am in favour of the government not denying what 5,000 years of history tells us is true, which is that every time a society gets richer it spends a rising share of its income on looking after the sick and the vulnerable.”
Meanwhile, the NHS has released grim new data. It says a record 299,031 patients arrived at A&E departments last week and A&E waiting time targets were missed for the 49th consecutive week.
Figures also show that a record number of beds were filled in May by patients who could not be discharged, often because community or social care services were not available.
The developments suggest that the NHS is set to be a key battleground at next year’s general election. Labour is keen to keep health at the centre of the campaign.