Despite all these achievements, I understand that there are some pressures on the NHS today, particularly during the winter months. I have always been clear that the NHS should be free at the point of need and it is. Spending has also continued to rise. In 2010 when Gordon Brown left office, spending on the NHS was £97 billion per year. It will have gone up by over 25 percent by 2019/2020. However, the NHS has also seen a huge increase in demand for its services. As medical science advances and we live longer, the number of operations and the cost of medication has increased. While we have over 12,000 more doctors and nurses than we had in 2010, they are being asked to do more. Since 2010, we are seeing 2.4 million more A&E attendances and 5.9 million more diagnostic tests every year. In 2016, the NHS in England performed an average of 4,400 more operations every day compared to 2010. That is why many sense that there are pressures and why we need to do all we can to make things work more smoothly.
In recent days, there has been good news for our NHS. The Government has been able to confirm that NHS staff including nurses, midwives, cleaners and porters will receive a pay rise of between 6.5% and 29%. Additionally, the Health Secretary has announced the largest ever increase in NHS midwives and maternity support staff, with a plan to train more than 3,000 extra midwives over 4 years, starting with 650 more midwives in training next year, and planned increases of 1,000 in the subsequent years as capacity increases.
This will also build on existing, world-leading measures to make the NHS the safest place in the world to give birth. This includes an ambition to halve the rates of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths, and brain injuries that occur during or soon after birth by 2025.