When researching the main parties’ manifestos and their potential plans for health care, trying to determine who is listening to the needs of the NHS and the related fields is no easy task.
"One thing is clear", says Prospect Health, "No single party is going to be able to fix the NHS in the short, four years, they will have in office. What we do know is that the NHS is treasured by the patients that use it and respected and protected by those who work in it."
Prospect Health’s guide looks at the commitments of the major parties in their manifestos, on the key issues facing the NHS, including the workforce, funding, patient care and services, and management.
Some of the key workforce issues facing the NHS that Prospect Health’s guide points out includes: 5,000 more GPs needing to be recruited; more nurses needed; and the importance of EU nationals remaining in the UK.
Prospect Health states that £22 billion in funding for the sector is needed by 2020. The guide sets out how Labour, Lib Dems and Conservatives would tackle this issue.
Patient care and services
Mental health, children’s health and NHS and health care services, are the main patient care and services issues identified in the guide. It states that Labour intends to ring fence mental health budgets, make British children the healthiest in the world and increase social care budgets by £8 million, whilst the Conservatives pledge to provide £15 million for community mental health care clinics and £2 billion to be spent on social care over the next three years.
It was the original aim of Aneurin Bevan, when launching the NHS at Park Hospital in Manchester, that the NHS ‘bring good healthcare to all’. "This aim hasn’t changed", says Prospect Health.
"Next year marks the 70th year of its introduction. Surely we can all work together to be in a position to celebrate this milestone and make sure our most treasured institution can support our generations to come."