The Green Party has pledged to scrap Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) among key policies on the NHS and wider public services set out in its election manifesto.
As part of efforts to ensure public services are “run by the people for the people”, the party said it would bring in new legislation to protect the NHS from privatisation.
“We will stand up for the NHS – we want it to be protected not privatised”
Its NHS Reinstatement Act would ensure “that all health and dental services are always publicly provided and funded, and free at the point of access”, said the Greens’ manifesto – titled the Green Guarantee.
“From our hospitals to our railways and schools, the Green Party will campaign for public services that are run by the people for the people,” stated the document, which was launched on Monday.
“These services will be properly resourced and future facing to meet your needs now and in the future, not struggling to keep pace with demand,” it said. “We will stand up for the NHS – we want it to be protected not privatised.”
Other policy pledges focused on the NHS included scrapping controversial regional STPs – seen by many as a vehicle for funding cuts and the closure of services.
The Greens also promised to close the NHS spending gap, with an “immediate cash injection to ensure everyone can access a GP, hospitals can run properly and staff are fairly paid”.
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In addition, the manifesto committed to a “major investment in social care” and also to bring mental healthcare in line with physical healthcare.
This included ensuring people experiencing mental health crises were cared for close to home. The manifesto also promised more training on mental health for the public sector workforce.
It said the Greens would “introduced mental health awareness training within the public sector and encourage a more open dialogue on the issue in wider society”.
When it comes to public health, the Greens stated they would improve young people’s access to “basic but vital health needs”.
This would include more funding for sexual health awareness campaigns and providing greater access to free condoms and sexual health clinics.
The manifesto also promised to help end the “public health crisis caused by air pollution”, by increasing incentives to take diesel vehicles off the roads.
Extra public spending outlined in the document would be paid for by measures including a tax on the top 1% of earners, levies on financial institutions and changes to corporation and inheritance tax.