Commenting on the publication of the Liberal Democrat manifesto, Chris Ham, Chief Executive of The King’s Fund, said: ‘We welcome the recognition that sustaining health and social care services needs extra investment funded by tax increases. The £6 billion pledged by the Lib Dems would be a down-payment on the longer-term funding increases needed to bring the proportion of GDP we spend on health and social care into line with countries such as France and Germany.
‘It is right that services outside hospital should be the priority for extra funding. The NHS needs to move to a new way of delivering care that meets the changing needs of patients by providing care closer to people’s homes. Social care, public health and mental health have all suffered from a lack of investment in recent years.
‘The proposal to establish a cross-party convention is welcome recognition that a new settlement for health and social care is needed that involves the public and is based on cross-party consensus. But there have been many reviews over the years that have not been acted on, so this time it would need to be backed by a government that is committed to taking tough choices to pay for the increased spending needed.
‘The Lib Dems have a strong track record on mental health, and we welcome commitments to increase funding to mental health services and extend waiting times standards.’
Notes to editors:
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.
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