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Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:42 pm on 16th March 2020.

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Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care) 3:42 pm, 16th March 2020

I set out in my remarks just now exactly where they would come from—from a variety of different sources. We have already seen, from the latest numbers for nurse recruitment, for example, many thousands more recruited in the last year. We are succeeding in delivering on our pledge, and we set out very clearly in our manifesto the timescales within which we would deliver.

That brings me to my third point—NHS services. I have said that I want the NHS to pursue two long-term policy goals to which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is committed. They are five extra years of healthy life and increased public confidence in the service. The coronavirus outbreak demonstrates that we have to target both. It is an explicit goal of our policy not just to tackle the disease, but to maintain public confidence. We take the same approach more broadly in healthcare. We want people to live healthier for longer, and we want people to be confident that the NHS will always be there for them, that it will treat them with dignity and respect, and that it will feel like a service, not an impersonal system. We want people to know, for instance, that they can always see a primary care professional whenever they need to. The Budget funds our manifesto commitment to create an extra 50 million appointments a year in general practice.