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Election Round-Up: health pledges

By June 5, 2024No Comments

As members will doubtless be aware, the general election campaign has kicked off. While manifestos will not be fully launched until next week – our sources believe Labour’s will be unveiled on 13 June – major parties have been trailing their pledges. We will examine some of the health promises which have already been announced.

Labour has pledged to eliminate the NHS waiting list backlog in England within five years. Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting has cautioned that the health service is in danger of turning into “a poor service for poor people,” as the affluent increasingly opt for private care. He warned that total waiting list numbers would jump to ten million people if the Tories gained another term in office.

The party has outlined plans to create 40,000 additional appointments per week by increasing weekend and evening services. Other measures include expanding staff numbers and utilising capacity from the private health sector.

The Conservatives have pledged to construct 100 new GP surgeries in England and increase the number of available appointments by offering more treatments in the community.

The party also plans to expand the range of treatments that pharmacies can provide without requiring a GP visit. Pharmacies would be able to offer contraceptive patches and injections, as well as treatments for more conditions, including acne and chest infections. This initiative is expected to free up 20 million GP appointments once fully implemented.

The party has also committed to building 50 new Community Diagnostic Centres, which would deliver an additional 2.5 million tests annually once fully operational.

The Liberal Democrats have stated they will increase the Public Health Grant to fund health checks for 40-74-year-olds, health visits for infants and their mothers, and broader access to blood pressure tests. The grant provides funding to local authorities for preventative services aimed at improving public health.

Yesterday, they also committed to providing free personal care to older or disabled people at home.



Ben Kemp