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Press release

The King’s Fund responds to the Liberal Democrat manifesto

Commenting on the Liberal Democrat manifesto, Richard Murray, Chief Executive of The King's Fund, said:

'The Liberal Democrat manifesto commitment to an extra £7 billion a year in health and care funding is welcome recognition of the need to invest in services after a decade-long funding squeeze. Thankfully the party has also resisted the temptation a huge reorganisation of the NHS, allowing health and care leaders to focus on improving services.

'It is encouraging to see proposals for addressing the severe staff shortages across the NHS and social care, although it's unclear whether they are enough to deliver the various pledges the party is making. International recruitment will be essential for plugging staff rota gaps, so the emphasis on ensuring that overseas professionals can come to work in health and care services is very welcome.

'The commitment to assess the physical and mental health impact of all government policies is a positive move towards tackling the wider determinants of people’s health and supporting them to stay healthy. It is good to see the party is willing to use the full range of measures to support the public’s health, including taxing and regulating unhealthy food and drink where the evidence supports this.

'The big gap in this manifesto, however, is the lack of a credible and comprehensive plan to address the social care crisis. A short-term cash injection will help services to limp on, but fundamental reform is needed to deliver a sustainable social care system that adequately supports people. There have been a plethora of reviews and commissions on social care reform in the past 20 years – the time for delay has passed, urgent action is needed now.'

Notes to editors

For further information, or to request an interview, please contact the Press and Public Affairs team on 020 7307 2585 (if calling out of hours, please ring 07584 146035).

The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible health and care is available to all.