Editorial Tuesday 23 September 2014: Labour leader Ed Miliband's health policy announcements today
Well, I have this from a very good source. "£2.5 bn fund (mansion tax, fags) to fund 20,000 nurses, and 8,000 GPs, 5,000 social/community care workers and 3,000 midwives by 2020".
There are problems with going down the workforce number target route. Not because it isn't important to have the right workforce - skill mix and numbers. It is important.
And primary care does seem to need more workforce, which probably means at least some more GPs. The business model for delivering them is one I'd like to know more about - but there is a clear need for some more access in primary care.
Knowing about the nursing numbers is a bit more vexed. Some areas may need more nurses. In others, the problems are different.
National schemes and targets can have unexpected consequences. NPfIT. ISTCs. Care.Data.
I would be suggesting that the Labour policy should be
1. Pledge more funding for the NHS.
2. Let local health economies put together bids for how they will use it.
3. Agree the good, solid bids, and agree what they should deliver (and what they will stop doing old-style).
4. Let them get on with it, with national support but without micro-management.
We shall see. Setting out this commitment isn't hog-whimperingly stupid, but it was probably not essential to define the numbers, and thus give ammunition by which to define failure. If approaching office in a time of very tight money, my instinct would be to hand fortune no hostages.