This list summarises those manifesto pledges made by the Conservative Party ahead of its election in the General Election which are of relevance to the health and social care areas. Some, but not all of the pledges have now been incorporated within the legislative programme set out in the Queen’s Speech.
As I looked at I was really more aware than I had been at the time of the General Election what a preposterous pack of lies this part ( and probably most of) of the Tory manifesto in relation to health and social care really was.
So, these are what was said by the Tories and my response to it is in bold.
The most important thing to remember is that in another part of the manifesto they pledged no increase in income tax, VAT or corporation tax. This cornucopia of riches is to pour into the NHS and social care from absolutely nowhere
Adult social care and carers
- Build a cross-party consensus to bring forward an answer that solves the [social care] problem. Agreed but the Tories have failed to try and build such a consensus over the past 15 years. When Labour was in Government, they reached out to the other Parties to try and build such a consensus. Lib Dems agreed but the Tories did not. Three years ago the LGA offered to work in our-Party way, to help build such a consensus. Only the Lib Dems agreed to support this.
- Nobody needing care should be forced to sell their home to pay for it. A very sensible policy but one which will cost about £4 billion a year in England alone. The money will come from where?
- Additional funding of £1 billion for the year beginning in April 2020. […] confirming this additional funding in every year of the new Parliament. This has been confirmed and is welcomed buit it is not enough and in no way meets the demands of the growing number of people who are becoming infirm and ill. We cannot keep increasing Council Tax to try and fill the gap as it is an unfair form of taxation.
- Extend the entitlement to leave for unpaid carers, […] to one week. Too many carers have to give up work, careers and income. This is trying to put a sticking plaster on open heart surgery.
- Support the main carer in any household receiving the Universal Credit payment. Sensible but needs to be considered not in isolation as part of either a wholesale review of Universal Credit or its total abolition.
- Promote the uptake of vaccines via [a] national vaccination strategy. We don’t need a national strategy we need the government to put back the money they have taken from the public health grant so that councils can work locally with the general population and specific communities to target resources to drive up inoculation take up.
- Extend social prescribing and expand the new National Academy of Social Prescribing. Good- get on with it.
- Extend healthy life expectancy by five years by 2035. Totally undeliverable unless money is put into things outside the NHS. If everyone had a good job, a decent homes, set in a decent environment this target would be met. It will not be met by clinical or medicinal actions.
- Tackle drug-related crime, and at the same time take a new approach to treatment so we can reduce drug deaths and break the cycle of crime linked to addiction. Totally undeliverable unless a wider review is undertaken into drag laws and prevention. This is ruled out in another part of the manifesto.
- Treat mental health with the same urgency as physical health. This has been an aspiration for a number of years but the resources have yet to follow the talk.
- Legislate so that patients suffering from mental health conditions, including anxiety or depression, have greater control over their treatment. They give no idea how this worthy and correct idea can be delivered.
Funding, staffing and structure
[Give] the NHS its biggest ever cash boost, with 20 hospital upgrades and 40 new hospitals, while delivering 50,000 more nurses and 6,000 more doctors and creating an extra 50 million general practice appointments a year. Totally untrue. The list that they submitted prior to the election included 6 new hospitals all the rest were mergers and improvements. 50,000 nurses became 30,000 and 50 million more GP appointments cannot happen without a huge number of new GPs that take 7 years to train and when many GPs are reaching retirement age.
Within the first three months of our new term, […] will enshrine in law [a] fully funded, long-term NHS plan. Build and fund 40 new hospitals over the next 10 years. We are now more than half way through their first 3 months. No legislation has been prepared for submission to Parliament. Intelligent and neutral estimates suggest that this would take 18 months to achieve if there was a will to do it.
End unfair hospital car parking charges by making parking free for those in greatest need, including disabled people, frequent outpatient attenders, parents of sick children staying overnight and staff working night shifts. A good idea but most hospitals already have a scheme to do just this.
There are so many risible references in the Tory manifesto to Health & Social Care that I am doing this in 2 parts! Watch out for my next blog in the next couple of days.