Pollster shares take on what the election means for the NHS

Rachel Skevington Britton

The hung parliament ushered in by Thursday’s general election could result in more money for the NHS and increased funding for non-controversial health and care initiatives, the head of healthcare research at polling company ComRes has suggested.

Increased scrutiny, the critical need for robust evidence for change and the NHS becoming more of a political battleground are also likely outcomes of the snap election.

Speaking at an event for NHS Confederation associates at Confed17, ComRes’ Rachel Skevington Britton explained that the NHS emerged as a top voter priority – edging over Brexit – which could place it in a strong position for additional funding. 

Such a move would provide an ‘easy win’ for a weakened government, she said.

She added that the new government is likely to leave controversial issues to one side, favouring quick wins and potentially leaving difficult decisions on health and social care to the next parliament.

Delivering a presentation on what the election outcome means for the UK and NHS, Rachel cautioned that it is too soon to make firm predictions, providing the audience of senior leaders with her initial thoughts.

'Off the table'

But she suggested that the majority of the Conservative Party’s manifesto pledges could now be off the table, with the ‘Dementia tax’ one of the first issues to go. 

There is a chance the party may ‘steer clear’ of the social care funding issue altogether, she added.

Providing up-to-the-minute analysis of what the election result means for the NHS, Rachel said the Democratic Unionist Party is unlikely to have much sway on health policy in England, given that health is a devolved issue.

Up-to-the-minute analysis

Her comments come on the eve of the NHS Confederation’s annual conference and exhibition in Liverpool – the first gathering of the health and care system after the general election.

The two-day event will continue to unpack what the election means for the NHS, its staff, patients and partners and how to chart a course over the coming years.

The conference will start with a panel of journalist providing their take, with the day wrapping up with a panel of health think tanks providing their view.

Follow the conversation on Twitter to see what lies ahead #Confed17 and download the NHS Confederation's general election analysis.

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