PM gives £140m funding boost to NHS
David Cameron has declared he wants to build on the "real successes in the NHS" with the announcement of £140 million in funding to ease the burden of red tape on nurses and midwives, enabling them to spend more time with patients.
As Conservative activists begin gathering in Birmingham for the party's annual conference, the Prime Minister also pledged additional cash to ensure cancer patients have access to advanced radiotherapy treatment.
At the start of what could be a tricky week, he used a visit to John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford to focus on an issue which has been central to the changes which he has made to the party since becoming leader.
The new announcements include £100 million for the latest software and other devices for NHS nurses and midwives in England to cut the time spent on form-filling and management processes like rotas.
Mr Cameron said: "What we're announcing is £100 million extra into the NHS specifically to help our brilliant nurses with new technology so they can spend even more time at the bedside with their patients.
"We're only able to do this because we're the only party, the only people, who said 'whatever else we have to do, whatever other cuts we have to make, we are not cutting the NHS budget, we're increasing it'.
"That was my pledge, that's what we are doing."
The money will initially be made available in the form of loans, although hospitals will only have to pay back a proportion depending on how well they perform according to feedback from patients and the public.
There is a further £40 million to help ward sisters and community team leaders develop their leadership skills - with training and support for 1,000 staff this year rising to 10,000 over the next two years.
Mr Cameron also announced a £15 million cancer radiotherapy innovation fund, with a guarantee that from next April all cancer patients in England have access to the most innovative radiotherapy where clinically appropriate and cost-effective.