21 / 11 / 2019
The Liberal Democrats have published their manifesto and this includes a series of commitments on the future of the NHS and social care system. This briefing assesses the key commitments against the issues that NHS Confederation members are most concerned about.
- A commitment to delivering an extra £35 billion over five years to be spent on the NHS and social care. This funding would be focused on relieving the crisis in social care, tackling urgent workforce shortages, and investing in mental health and prevention services. It would be funded through a 1p rise on the basic, higher and additional rates of Income Tax. It is not yet clear exactly how this funding will be allocated between the NHS and social care, and it also relies heavily on economic performance (which cannot be guaranteed).
- Investment of £10 billion in capital to make ‘necessary investments’ in equipment hospitals, community, ambulance and mental health services.
- Stopping Brexit to ensure freedom of movement and mutual recognition of qualifications are retained for clinical staff.
- Continuation of the direction of travel set out in the NHS Long Term Plan in light of a lack of appetite from health leaders for another top-down reorganisation of the health service.
- Measures to address workforce shortages, including bursaries for specialty roles where shortages are most acute.
- Equal treatment of physical and mental health in the NHS, including measures to tackle stigma and implement all the recommendations set out in Professor Sir Simon Wessely’s Independent Review of the Mental Health Act.
The NHS Confederation has completed similar briefings for all of the main parties ahead of the 2019 General Election.