Labour will renew its bid to win the general election battle over health policies amid Tory claims it is making unaffordable promises to patients.

Health secretary Andy Burnham and Labour campaign coordinator Douglas Alexander will front a press conference as pre-poll skirmishes intensify.

It comes the day after prime minister Gordon Brown fired a fresh salvo with a commitment to one-to-one personalised care for all cancer patients in their own homes.

Mr Brown said it could benefit around 1.6 million patients over the next five years and be part of a new drive that could save 10,000 lives.

He also said over-65s could be given a right to up to six weeks’ support to enable them to remain in their own homes after a stay in hospital or residential care, a fall or an illness.

But the cancer pledge sparked an immediate funding row, with shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley accusing the prime minister of “making promises on the NHS which he knows he cannot keep”.

Labour reduced the amount the NHS spends on each cancer patient by £650 last year.

But Mr Burnham rejected the funding cut claim and said the new promise would be introduced in stages to ensure it could be met within budgets.

Both major parties have identified the NHS as an area that should be protected from the spending cuts needed to reduce Britain’s record £178bn deficit.