Boris Johnson pledges nursing support for King's Mill Hospital on visit to Sutton
Boris Johnson has pledged to support Sutton's King's Mill Hospital by investing in thousands more nurses - if he is reelected next month.
Speaking on a tightly-managed visit to the hospital on November 8, the Prime Minister outlined plans to invest in 17,000 nurses nationally and unveiled a new pledge to "accelerate visas" for NHS staff coming from abroad.
Mr Johnson spent the morning meeting with staff at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust, where he discussed the Conservatives' plans for the NHS in the election - including a £34 billion "infrastructure boost" and the new visa scheme.
And he also hit out at the private finance initiative (PFI) deal signed by the hospital trust, which has seen the hospital "haemorrhage £1 million a week" on running costs - suggesting a future government needs "to try and help them if we possibly can".
He said: "It was an appalling deal signed by the hospital trust, 16 per cent of its outgoings and millions of pounds a week they are spending on debt.
"We need to try and help them if we possibly can, but the reality is that the contract is locked in and the banks will insist on it being paid. So we have to look for other ways to help King's Mill.
"One of the things we're doing is putting millions into the NHS to support nursing, and by announcing a £34 billion investment, the biggest in modern memory.
"There will be 20 hospital upgrades, 40 new hospitals and to have 17,000 more nurses than when this government came in."
The Prime Minister went into detail about the Tories' plans to provide half-price visas for NHS staff coming to the UK from abroad, and said he is a "believer in immigration".
The new plans would see visas reduced from £928 to £464 for medical professionals, dubbed a "NHS visa", and the new visas would be guaranteed a decision within two weeks.
He added: "We are also announcing a way of accelerating the visas for nurses who want to come and work in this country from abroad.
"This would mean
"You rarely have to contrast our approach to immigration, a points-based system that matches the needs of the NHS and the needs of the UK economy, against Labour's approach which is literally unlimited and uncontrolled immigration.
"We think our approach is a sensible one, and the way to restore confidence in our political system we need to get Brexit done, and ensure next year is a year of prosperity and growth for both our NHS and for our country."
On the visit, Mr Johnson spoke to NHS staff and nurses, and also posed for pictures with some staff.