Brown pledges home cancer care

By staff

Cancer patients will receive free home care from specialist nurses if Labour secures a general election win, Gordon Brown promised today.

The move would allow cancer sufferers to undergo chemotherapy and dialysis without going to hospital as part of a reform of community healthcare drive.

The Conservatives approved of the plan but raised questions as to how it would be paid for.

The opposition revealed figures showing spending on cancer patients fell last year, by eight per cent – £650 per person.

“Given that we know that Labour are planning even further cuts to NHS spending in the years ahead, I’m worried that they are not being straight with the public,” shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said.

“It is very difficult to see how they will be able to fund their pledge for one-to-one nursing.”

But Mr Brown insisted previous reforms at the NHS had made the move possible.

“Some will question whether we can afford these guarantees given the fiscal constraints we face so let me answer this directly,” he said this morning.

“The unparalled investment of the last decade, together with our decision to protect the whole of the NHS budget, has put the NHS in a stronger and more resilient position than ever before.”

Cancer survival rates in the UK still trail behind those in Europe, despite Labour tripling NHS spending since 1997.