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Green Party election pledges on health and the NHS

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What are the key pledges made so far by this party on health and the NHS?

What are the key pledges made so far by this party on health and the NHS?

Nursing Times has analysed the pre-election speeches and policy announcements of the main parties ahead of the election on 7 May.

Read below to find out what the Greens have said about health and the NHS, and then compare it with the other parties in the special election section of our website.

 

What key pledges have grabbed the headlines?

While health has not been the party’s traditional policy focus, chapter six of its 2015 election manifesto has made bold commitments to “end NHS privatisation” and “end health service austerity”.

The manifesto’s other two main chapter headings stated a commitment to “restore” a person-centred approach to the NHS and to tackle the rise in mental health problems, which is described as the “crisis of our time”.

 

What has the party promised on workforce issues?

It has pledged to “foster wholeheartedly” the growth, development and training of the NHS workforce. In particular, it promised to expand the number of staff involved in providing mental health services.

Regarding remuneration, the Green Party said it would “respect” the NHS Pay Review Body and that it would bring NHS pay back in line with inflation.

 

What has the party promised on primary and community care?

In line with most thinking on the future direction of healthcare provision, the party said it would place an “emphasis” on prevention and primary care and community care.

It name-checked practice nurses, district nurses, health visitors and midwives in a list of key community-based health professionals that it said were “best-placed” to prevent ill health. However, it made no particular target pledges to increase their numbers.

However, the party said it would boost spending on primary care from the current 7% of the NHS budget that it receives to 11%.

It suggested taxing unhealthy food, cutting air pollution and decriminalising drug use would all contribute to improving public health and, therefore, ease pressure on primary care.

 

What has the party promised on mental health services?

The Greens highlighted the need to improve mental health services and “put an end to mental health’s Cinderella status”.

This would mean expanding the mental health workforce, they said, along with key goals including ensuring swift access to treatment for those in crisis and investment in dementia services.

 

What are the key pledges made so far by this party on health and the NHS?

The party has pledged to “end NHS privatisation”, stating that healthcare “shouldn’t be bought and sold”.

To help do this, like Labour, the Greens said they would repeal the 2012 Health and Social Care Act. The party has promised to follow this up with an NHS Reinstatement Bill that would “abolish” competition and end market-based commissioning.  

 

What has the party pledged to do for NHS finances?

As part of a pledge to “end NHS austerity”, the Greens have claimed they would immediately increase the overall NHS budget by £12bn.

The party would then increase the service’s “real terms” budget by 1.2% each year.

It said that, taken together, these two pledges would comprise £20bn investment by 2020 – the amount earmarked as necessary in the five-year plan published by NHS leaders last autumn.

  • This page will be updated during the election campaign, as more policies are announced
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