David Cameron has pledged to oust Labour from its traditional position as 'the party of the NHS'.

In a speech this afternoon, the Conservative leader is expected to say: 'In this, the NHS's 60th year, the Conservative Party has an historic opportunity: to replace Labour as the party of the NHS.

'That's quite an aspiration - but I believe it is our duty to live up to it. To be the party of the NHS is an honour that must be earned.'

He said a Conservative government would ensure providers could not get the full tariff for a particular service if the patient contracted a healthcare-acquired infection during the treatment.