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General election 2017: The parties’ pledges on health and social care


Ahead of the general election, we summarise the main pledges made by the three main parties on health and social care.

This content summarises the key manifesto pledges made by the three main parties on health and social care. It focuses on specific new commitments. It does not provide any analysis of the pledges but simply outlines them as they appear in the manifestos.

How much money have they pledged for the NHS?

Conservatives Labour Liberal Democrats
A minimum real-terms increase of £8 billion over the next five years and an increase in real funding per person for every year of the parliament.More than £30 billion in extra funding over the parliament.‘A penny in the pound’ on Income Tax raising £6 billion, to be ring-fenced for NHS and social care.
The ‘most ambitious programme of investment in buildings and technology the NHS has ever seen’.Boost capital funding.Increase capital investment in hospitals.

What are their plans for NHS reform?

Conservatives Labour Liberal Democrats
Back sustainability and transformation plans, ‘providing they are clinically led and locally supported’.Halt and review sustainability and transformation plans.Reform NHS payment systems by moving away from payments for activity to tariffs that promote joined-up care.
If necessary, legislate to remove barriers to implementing the NHS five year forward view.Create a new quality and safety regulator – NHS Excellence.Move towards single place-based budgets for health and social care by 2020.
Carry out a review of the internal market.Repeal the Health and Social Care Act 2012 to make the NHS the preferred provider and ‘reinstate’ the Secretary of State’s overall responsibility for the NHS.
Legislate for an independent health care safety investigations body.Introduce a new legal duty to ensure private companies do not make excess profits from the NHS.

What about social care funding and reform?

Conservatives Labour Liberal Democrats
Raise the asset threshold in the means test to £100,000 and include the value of the family home in the means test for home care.Commit an additional £8 billion over lifetime of next parliament (£1 billion in first year).Implement a cap on lifetime individual liability for social care costs.
Extend use of deferred payments to those receiving home care.‘Lay the foundations’ for a new ‘national care service’ to receive an additional £3 billion in each of its first years.Introduce more choice at the end of life and move towards free end-of-life social care.
Means-test winter fuel payments, with money released going to health and social care.Introduce a cap on lifetime individual liability for care costs and increase the asset threshold in the means test.
Introduce an ‘absolute limit’ on an individual’s lifetime liability for care costs (pledge announced after the manifesto had been published).Provide free end-of-life care.

A long-term settlement for health and social care?

Conservatives Labour Liberal Democrats
Publish a Green Paper on social care to ‘address system-wide issues’ and ‘ensure the care system works better with the NHS’.Establish a new Office for Budget Responsibility-style body to oversee and scrutinise health spending.Introduce a dedicated health and care tax ’possibly based on’ reform of National Insurance.
Ensure the ‘national care service’ is ‘built alongside the NHS’ with single commissioning and pooled budgets.Set up a cross-party convention to consider longer-term sustainability of health and social care.
Seek cross-party consensus on how to fund the new national care service with options including wealth taxes, employer contributions and a new ‘social care levy’.Set up a new Office for Budget Responsibility for health and care to advise on funding needs.
Set a long-term objective to bring together the NHS and social care into a single service.

What support is there for carers?

Conservatives Labour Liberal Democrats
Commit to a new statutory entitlement to carer’s leave.Increase Carer’s Allowance to align with Jobseeker’s Allowance.Ensure more people are able to access Carer’s Allowance.

What are their plans for primary and community care services?

Conservatives Labour Liberal Democrats
Encourage GPs to come together to improve access, share data and offer better facilities.Halt pharmacy cuts and review provision.Ensure local areas retain access to community pharmacist.
Ensure community pharmacies can play a stronger role within the local health system.Increase funding for general practice to improve access.Expand GP access with evening and weekend opening, and encourage online, phone and Skype appointments.
Encourage GPs to work together in federations and provide out-of-hours services.
Introduce a new patient premium to encourage GPs and community clinicians to work in disadvantaged areas.

What are they saying about workforce?

Conservatives Labour Liberal Democrats
Introduce a new GP contract and reform the consultant contract.Scrap the NHS pay cap.End public sector pay freeze for NHS workers.
Legislate to reform professional regulation.Legislate for safe-staffing levels.Reinstate student nurse bursaries.
Reinstate bursaries and funding for health-related degrees.
Increase the number of health visitors and school nurses.

What pledges have they made about mental health?

Conservatives Labour Liberal Democrats
Recruit up to 10,000 more mental health professionals.Ring-fence mental health budgets and ensure funding reaches the front line.Ring-fence £1 billion of extra funding for mental health.
Replace the Mental Health Act with a new Mental Health Bill with the aim of bringing about ‘parity of esteem’ in the treatment of mental and physical health conditions and ending stigma.Increase the proportion of the mental health budget spent on support for children and young people.Increase access to clinically effective and cost-effective talking therapies.
Extend protections around discrimination against people with mental health conditions in the workplace.End out-of-area placements by 2019.Reward employers to improve the wellbeing of employees.
End out-of-area placements for children and young people receiving non-specialist treatment.Review the provision of mental health services in prisons.Introduce new waiting time standards in A&E for people in crisis.
End out-of-area placements and the use of police cells for people facing a mental health crisis.

What are they saying about public health?

Conservatives Labour Liberal Democrats
Plant 1 million trees to tackle poor air quality.Provide access to PrEP for groups at high-risk of HIV infection as quickly as possible.Make PrEP for HIV prevention available on the NHS.
Improve sexual health services, including focus on HIV.Reinstate funding cut from public health budgets.
Draw up a tobacco control plan focusing on mental health and young smokers.Introduce mandatory sugar reduction targets for food and drink producers.
Impose a new levy on tobacco companies, the proceeds to be used to fund health care and smoking cessation services.
Introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol.
Conservatives Labour Liberal Democrats
Prioritise the rights of health and social care staff from EU to stay in UK in negotiations with EU.Guarantee the rights of EU staff working in health and care services.Guarantee the rights of all NHS and social care staff from EU to stay in UK.
Conservatives Labour Liberal Democrats
Reduce childhood obesity by reducing unhealthy ingredients and providing clearer food labelling information.Set up a £250 million ‘children’s health fund’.Ensure schools provide immediate access to support and counselling for children with mental health issues.
Commit to a Green Paper on young people’s mental health by end of 2017 and reform child and adolescent mental health services.Introduce a new ‘index of child health’ to measure progress.Draw up a new childhood obesity strategy, to include restrictions on advertising and strengthen the sugar tax.
Draw up a new childhood obesity strategy, to include proposals on advertising and food labelling.
Increase funding for children and young people’s mental health services.
Commit £90 million a year to extending counselling services to all secondary schools.

Other pledges

Conservatives Labour Liberal Democrats
Ensure all patients have seven-day access to a GP (by 2019) and consultant-supervised care in hospital.Introduce free hospital parking.Review prescription charges for those with long-term conditions and disabilities.
Ensure new NHS numbers are not issued to people until eligibility is confirmed, and increase Immigration Health Surcharge.End mixed-sex wards.
Implement recommendations of Accelerated Access review to ensure faster access to new drugs.