NHS Confederation responds to Liberal Democrats announcement on long-term sickness

Matthew Taylor responds to Liberal Democrats announcement on long-term sickness.

5 June 2024

Responding to the Liberal Democrats' pledge for long term sickness, Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation said:

“The Liberal Democrats are right to identify that high levels of long term sickness can have a huge impact on the country. Our recent report with the Centre for Mental Health estimated the costs of mental ill health to the economy is £110bn per year.

“Mental health leaders and their teams have been pulling out all the stops to see as many patients as they can, but growing demand means there are 1.5million on the mental health waiting list.

“While regular mental health checks or MOTs could help identify people in need of care, without increased treatment capacity it risks just extending the waiting lists. That is why we want a comprehensive plan to develop the services and workforce the mental health sector needs in order to provide the support for patients. 

“We are calling on the next government to introduce a 12-month stabilisation plan to get NHS performance back on track as well as to commit to ensuring that the NHS Long-Term Workforce Plan will be fully funded. We are also calling for more capital investment to tackle crumbling estates and allow leaders to invest in new innovations and technology.”