Labour’s Ed Miliband to pledge longer social care visits

ED Miliband is to set out Labour’s “10-year plan” for the NHS including longer home visits by social care workers.

The Labour leader will also pledge new safety checks to identify people at risk of hospitalisation and 5,000 new home care workers.

All of the major parties have pledged what they say is enough money to maintain NHS services in the next Parliament after the general election.

The Conservatives say they would ring-fence and “protect” the NHS budget.

The Liberal Democrats have promised to meet “in full” the £8bn extra NHS managers say is needed by 2020.At the weekend UKIP leader Nigel Farage said his party would commit an extra £3bn per year to the service.

Labour have promised to keep the NHS ring-fence and spend an extra £2.5bn a year across the UK by the end of the next Parliament.

In a speech in Trafford, Greater Manchester on Tuesday, Mr Miliband will say the NHS faces “its most perilous moment” at May’s general election.

Labour’s previously-announced NHS pledges include 20,000 more nurses and providing cancer tests and results within a week.

The 5,000 extra home care workers would treat terminally ill people in their own beds.

Mr Miliband will also spell out financial incentives for social care workers to spend more than 15 minutes on home visits.Limiting visits to 15 minutes is “a symbol of what has gone wrong in the NHS where failure and false economies threaten the financial future of the service”, Mr Miliband will say.

Labour said care workers often had to choose between preparing a meal for people they are visiting or taking them to the toilet because of time constraints.

The party is putting the NHS at the heart of its bid to win the general election, which is 100 days away.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister David Cameron will focus on the economy on Tuesday, promising a law to reduce the annual household welfare cap to £23,000 from the current £26,000 in the first week of a Conservative government.

He will say the proceeds from the reduction would be spent on three million new apprentices.

Mr Cameron told the BBC that reforming the welfare system was the “best way to tackle poverty and spread advantage”.

He said: “The criticism of our benefit cap, which was set at £26,000, in many parts of the country was that it was too high.

“So we think that reducing it to £23,000 will help to get more families back into work and we’ll use the savings from that money to make sure we train three million apprentices in the next Parliament.

“We’ve trained two million in this Parliament and we think this is absolutely crucial to making sure that more young people can get good, well-paid, successful jobs and build a secure future for themselves and their families.”

The Lib Dems will launch an online advertisement, based on a Conservative election poster, arguing they would cut less than the Tories and borrow less than Labour.

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