"Quality healthcare for all"
An at-a-glance guide
The Liberal Democrat's manifesto pledged to:
Continue real-terms protection of the NHS budget until they have balanced the books in 2017/18 – with a £1 billion boost on top of this protection.
Invest half of the initial £1 billion in providing care in people’s own homes and communities.
Increase NHS spending in line with economic growth from then on.
Taken together, the party claims that this will see NHS funding increase by £8 billion in real terms by 2020, as per the Five Year Forward View.
Earmark £500 million a year for better mental health care.
Secure local agreement on pooling of budgets between the NHS and social care.
Implement the Dilnot Report proposals for a cap on the cost of social care.
Payment system reform
- Incentivise GPs and other community clinicians to work in more disadvantaged areas, through a patient premium.
- Make better use of the network of community pharmacists so they become the first point of contact for advice on minor illnesses and are joined-up with GPs and community health teams.
- Review the rules for exemption from prescription charges to ensure they are fair to those with long-term conditions and disabilities.
- Act to improve the mental health of children and young people – promoting wellbeing throughout schools and ensuring children and young people can access the services they need as soon as a mental health problem develops.
- Deliver genuine parity of esteem between mental and physical health, including by improving access and waiting time standards for mental health services.
- Implement the proposals outlined in the report of the Government’s Children’s Mental Health Taskforce.
- Establish a world-leading mental health research fund.
- Publish a national wellbeing strategy.
- Join up health and care at national level, shifting full responsibility for care policy and funding to the Department of Health
- Combine the public health, adult social care and health outcome frameworks into a single national wellbeing outcomes framework
- Encourage health services to link up with local authority social care teams and voluntary services to join up care.
- Encourage the development of joined-up health providers, which cover hospital and community services, including GPs, learning from international best practice.
- Permit NHS commissioners and providers in a local area to form a single integrated health organisation where appropriate.
- Work with Monitor to reform NHS funding systems, moving away from payments for activity to tariffs that encourage joined-up services and preventive care.
- Extend the use of personal budgets.
- Continue to develop health and wellbeing boards to take a broad view of how services can improve wellbeing in their area.
- Do more to tackle the causes of ill health, including the promotion of healthy eating and exercise, making people aware of the dangers of smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol and other drugs, and helping to improve mental health and wellbeing.
- Invest in research and set ambitious goals to improve outcomes for the most serious life-threatening diseases like cancer and long-term conditions like dementia.
- Introduce a package of support for carers, including a £250 Carer’s Bonus every year.