Andy Burnham MP, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary, in response to the publication of NHS workforce statistics this morning showing 5500 nursing posts axed since May 2010, said:
"David Cameron promised to protect the NHS budget but has cut it for two years running.
"To make matters worse, he prioritised spending on back-office restructuring over protecting the NHS frontline.
"The result is that the NHS frontline is taking a battering from the Tory–led Government’s mismanagement of the NHS. Over 5000 nursing jobs have been cut on Cameron's watch, with 700 going in the last month alone.
"The Government has taken the NHS to the brink with its toxic mix of budget cuts and destabilising reorganisation. Patients are paying the price as A&E waiting times get longer and the number of patients left waiting on trolleys in hospital corridors is up by a third.
"What greater sign could there be of a Government with its priorities wrong than one which gives tax breaks to millionaires and P45s to nurses?
"David Cameron must live up to his pre-Election promises. He must stop this assault on the NHS frontline."