A SWINDON MP has welcomed the government’s proposed £20 billion funding boost for the NHS.

Justin Tomlinson said the new cash would ensure better access to GP appointments and improved mental health services.

But Labour’s candidate in South Swindon, Sarah Church, warned there was no mention of cash for social care.

The comments follow prime minister Theresa May’s announcement over the weekend that she planned to give the NHS an extra £384 million a week by 20204. She claimed a Brexit dividend would help fund the 3.4 per cent spending increase.

Justin Tomlinson MP said: “I am delighted that the Prime Minister has announced a £20 billion a year boost in funding for the NHS.

“Since 2010, we have increased funding for the NHS in every year to record amounts, and this new funding will ensure that clinicians can continue to deliver the high-quality life-saving care. This new money will also deliver on our commitment to improve access to GP appointments, increase the availability of mental health services, and ensure we stay at the forefront of research into new drugs.”

But the prime minister has been criticised, with the Institute of Fiscal Studies saying the so-called Brexit dividend would not materialise. Sarah Wollaston, chairman of the House of Commons health committee branded the Brexit boost tosh.

Sarah Church, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for South Swindon, said: “Everyone will welcome more money to the NHS, but not without asking the key questions which are where the money will come from and how will it be spent? The proposed 3.4 per cent increase will only maintain the status quo, which is a year-round crisis of the Tories’ own making.”

“The IFS has stated that improvement will only come with a 5 per cent increase in funding- until then you can expect to continue waiting weeks for a GP appointment and several hours for an ambulance. There is no mention of the largest demand area - social care - nor of preventative measures in public health.

“An increase in taxation will certainly be needed but the government really need to look at who is best placed to pay- they could try putting corporation tax back up even by a few per cent and we could afford far more for our health service and still remain a competitive place to do business.”

She added that more investment needed to be made in training doctors and nurses. Ministers say 14,260 more doctors and 12,000 nurses have been trained since 2010 and the new cash will help train an extra 5,000 GPs.