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Conservative Party Manifesto 2019

Conservative Party Manifesto 2019

The Conservative Party’s pledges on health, care and wellbeing are summarised below.

The manifesto can be read in the following places:

NHS

  • Enshrine in law the fully funded long-term NHS plan, within three months.
  • Between 2018 and 2023, raise funding for the NHS by 29 per cent.
  • Ensure this money goes to the frontline, to provide appointments more quickly and improved care.
  • Build and fund 40 new hospitals over the next 10 years, on top of the 20 hospital upgrades announced in the summer.
  • Continue to repair financial damage done by PFI deals.
  • Tackle the underlying causes of increases in NHS demand, for example via a long-term strategy for empowering people with lifestyle-related conditions such as obesity to live healthier lives, as well as tackling childhood obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
  • Continue to promote the uptake of vaccines via the national vaccination strategy.
  • Extend social prescribing and expand the new National Academy of Social Prescribing.
  • Overhaul NHS screening and use new technology and mobile screening services to prevent ill health.
  • Focus on helping patients with multiple conditions to have simplified and more joined-up access to the NHS.
  • Improve hospital food alongside the wider National Food Strategy.
  • Extend the successful Cancer Drugs Fund into an Innovative Medicines Fund so that doctors can use the most advanced, life-saving treatments for conditions such as cancer or autoimmune disease, or for children with other rare diseases.
  • Use frontline technology to improve patients’ experience, provide flexible working for clinicians, and help save lives. Hold an annual health technology summit.
  • Support hospices, developing the plans already announced to secure their future.
  • Make the NHS the best place in the world to give birth through personalised, high-quality support.
  • Uphold the commitment to extend healthy life expectancy by five years by 2035.
  • In trade negotiations, the NHS will not be on the table. The price the NHS pays for drugs will not be on the table. The services the NHS provides will not be on the table.
  • Invest in world-class computing and health data systems that can aid research
  • Improve the early diagnosis and treatment of all major conditions.
  • Treat mental health with the same urgency as physical health.
  • Legislate so that patients suffering from mental health conditions, including anxiety or depression, have greater control over their treatment and receive the dignity and respect they deserve.
  • Make it easier for people with learning disabilities and autism to be discharged from hospital and improve how they are treated in law.
  • Provide £74 million over three years for additional capacity in community care settings for those with learning disabilities and autism.
  • Improve NHS performance, bring down operating waiting times, improve A&E performance and increase cancer survival rates. Study carefully the recommendations of the ongoing review led by NHS clinical staff into A&E and clinical performance.
  • Make finding a cure for dementia one of the Government’s biggest collective priorities. This will include doubling research funding into dementia and speeding up trials for new treatments.
  • Roll out cancer diagnostic machines across 78 hospital trusts to boost early diagnosis.

Social care

  • Build a cross-party consensus to bring forward an answer that solves the problem, commands the widest possible support, and stands the test of time.
  • Nobody needing care should be forced to sell their home to pay for it.
  • Additional funding of £1 billion in every year of the new Parliament.

Childhood and parenthood

  • Review the care system to make sure that all care placements and settings are providing children and young adults with the support they need.
  • Establish a new £1 billion fund to help create more high quality, affordable childcare, including before and after school and during the school holidays.
  • Legislate to allow parents to take extended leave for neonatal care. Look at ways to make it easier for fathers to take paternity leave.

Equalities

  • Abolish the tampon tax.
  • Publish a National Strategy for Disabled People before the end of 2020. This will look at ways to improve the benefits system, opportunities and access for disabled people in terms of housing, education, transport and jobs. It will include existing commitments to increase SEND funding and support pupils, students and adults to get careers advice, internships, and transition into work. Reduce the disability employment gap.
  • Support all victims of domestic abuse and pass the Domestic Abuse Bill.
  • Increase support for refuges and community support for victims of rape and sexual abuse.
  • Pilot integrated domestic abuse courts that address criminal and family matters in parallel.
  • Extend the entitlement to leave for unpaid carers, the majority of whom are women, to one week.
  • Improve the quality of evidence and data within Government about the types of barriers different groups face.

Welfare

  • Keep the triple lock, the winter fuel payment, the older person’s bus pass and other pensioner benefits, ensuring that older people have the security and dignity they deserve.
  • Continue the roll-out of Universal Credit.
  • Do more to make sure that Universal Credit works for the most vulnerable. End the benefit freeze, while making sure it pays to work more hours.
  • Support the main carer in any household receiving the Universal Credit payment.
  • Maintain the commitment to free school meals.
  • Extend the entitlement to leave for unpaid carers, the majority of whom are women, to one week.
  • Reduce the number of reassessments a disabled person must go through when a significant change in condition is unlikely.

Workforce

  • Deliver 50,000 more nurses, with students receiving a £5,000-£8,000 annual maintenance grant every year during their course to help with their cost of living. All will receive at least £5,000 with further funding in regions or disciplines that are struggling to recruit – such as mental health – and help with their childcare costs.
  • 6,000 more doctors in general practice and 6,000 more primary care professionals, such as physiotherapists and pharmacists, on top of the 7,500 extra nurse associates and 20,000 primary care professionals already announced.
  • Improve staff morale with more funding for professional training and more supportive hospital management.
  • Deliver 50 million extra general practice appointments a year, an increase of over 15 per cent.
  • Address the ‘taper problem’ in doctors’ pensions, which causes many to turn down extra shifts for fear of high tax bills. Within 30 days, hold an urgent review, working with the British Medical Association and Academy of Medical Royal Colleges to solve the problem.

Immigration

  • Overhaul the current immigration system, and make it more fair and compassionate, so that what happened to the Windrush generation will never happens again.
  • Deliver the Windrush compensation scheme.
  • People coming into the country from the EU will only be able to access unemployment, housing, and child benefit after five years, in the way non-EEA migrants currently do.
  • No longer allow people to claim child benefit for children living overseas.
  • Increase the NHS surcharge paid by those from overseas.
  • Require new arrivals to contribute to the funding of the NHS and will increase the health surcharge to ensure it covers the full cost of use.
  • Enforce charges on those who come here country and use health services without contributing, doubling the budget for the health tourism enforcement unit.
  • Continue to offer free emergency care to anyone who needs it.
  • Introduce an NHS Visa. Qualified doctors, nurses and allied health professionals with a job offer from the NHS, who have been trained to a recognised standard, and who have good working English, will be offered fast-track entry, reduced visa fees and dedicated support to come to the UK with their families.

Local and regional government

  • Local people will continue to have the final say on council tax, being able to veto excessive rises.
  • Ambition for full devolution across England, building on the devolution of powers to city region mayors, Police and Crime Commissioners and others. Publish an English Devolution White Paper next year.

Communities

  • Ensure that new GP and school places are delivered ahead of people moving into new housing developments.
  • The Towns Fund will go to an initial 100 towns to improve their local economy – and they and only they will make the choice about what improvements their local area needs.
  • Invest £500 million in new youth clubs and services.
  • Work with local universities to do more for the education, health and prosperity of their local areas.
  • Establish a £150 million Community Ownership Fund to encourage local takeovers of civic organisations or community assets that are under threat – local football clubs, but also pubs or post offices. Help communities that want to create ‘pocket parks’ and regenerate derelict areas.
  • Support communities living on council estates who want to take ownership of the land and buildings they live in.
  • Ask every community to decide on its own design standards for new development, allowing residents a greater say on the style and design of development in their area, with local councils encouraged to build more beautiful architecture.

Housing

  • Offer more homes to local families, enabling councils to use developers’ contributions via the planning process to discount homes in perpetuity by a third for local people who cannot otherwise afford to buy in their area. Councils could use this to prioritise key workers in their area, like police, nurses and teachers.
  • Bring forward a Social Housing White Paper which will set out further measures to empower tenants and support the continued supply of social homes. This will include measures to provide greater redress, better regulation and improve the quality of social housing
  • Renew the Affordable Homes Programme, in order to support the delivery of hundreds of thousands of affordable homes.
  • End the blight of rough sleeping by the end of the next Parliament by expanding successful pilots and programmes such as the Rough Sleeping Initiative and Housing First, and working to bring together local services to meet the health and housing needs of people sleeping on the streets.
  • Support high rise residential residents with the removal of unsafe cladding, and continue with materials testing.
  • Encourage innovative design and technology to make housing more affordable, accessible, and suitable for disabled people and an ageing population.

Energy

  • Support the creation of new kinds of homes that have low energy bills and which support environmental targets. Expect all new streets to be lined with trees.
  • Help lower energy bills by investing £9.2 billion in the energy efficiency of homes, schools and hospitals.
  • Keep the existing energy cap and introduce new measures to lower bills.
  • Give the Competition and Markets Authority enhanced powers to tackle consumer rip-offs and bad business practices.

Environment and transport

  • Set up a new independent Office For Environmental Protection and introduce legal targets, including for air quality.
  • Support clean transport to ensure clean air, as well as setting strict new laws on air quality.
  • Support commuter cycling routes, so that more people can cycle safely to work and more families can go out together. Extend Bikeability – cycling proficiency training – to every child. Work with the NHS to promote cycling for healthier living.
  • 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.

Addiction and problem behaviour

  • Continue to take action to tackle gambling addiction.
  • Review alcohol duty to ensure that the tax system is supporting British drink producers.
  • Tackle drug-related crime, and at the same time take a new approach to treatment to reduce drug deaths and break the cycle of crime linked to addiction.
  • Improve the Troubled Families programme and champion Family Hubs to serve vulnerable families with the intensive, integrated support they need to care for children – from the early years and throughout their lives.
  • Require schools, police, councils and health authorities to work together through Violence Reduction Units to prevent serious crime.

Published: 25th November 2019

Source: The Patients Association

Story URL: https://www.patients-association.org.uk/blog/conservative-party-manifesto

Brexit Party Manifesto 2019

Brexit Party Manifesto 2019

The Brexit Party has issues what it calls a ‘contract with the people’ instead of a manifesto. Its foreword explains: “Our Contract with the People is a targeted set of deliverable pledges. We are not seeking election as a government. We are seeking to deliver the Brexit that we were promised three and a half years ago.”

Its policy pledges relating to health, care and wellbeing are below, and you can read the full document in the following places:

NHS

  • Continued investment in the NHS, better management, increasing the number of medical staff and cutting waste.
  • The NHS must remain a publicly-owned, comprehensive service that is free at the point of use.
  • There should be no privatisation of the NHS; where existing private initiatives have failed to deliver they will be returned to public ownership.
  • Support investment in medical research and development; stop the taxpayer being ripped off by pharmaceutical companies.
  • Abolish all politically imposed hospital targets that distort clinical priorities.
  • Re-open the nursing and midwifery professions to recruitment without the degree requirement, alongside a new nursing qualification in social care.
  • Introduce 24-hour GP surgeries to relieve the strain in A&E departments.
  • Have a national debate on our NHS, involving the public alongside MPs, doctors and experts.
  • Discuss ring-fencing the NHS budget and the tax revenues that pay for it.

Welfare benefits

  • Support those who have paid into the system with accelerated payment processes (five-week maximum), and continue to root out fraud.
  • Undertake a 12-month review of the system and bring in reforms within two years.
  • Review the position of women unexpectedly short-changed by recent rises in the state pension age.
  • Extend the use of dormant funds to support civil society.

Housing

  • Simplify the planning and development processes to encourage small and medium sized developers, accelerating the pace of development to increase housing supply.
  • Change the funding model to make it easier for councils to borrow from central government to build council houses.

Published: 25th November 2019

Source: The Patients Association

Story URL: https://www.patients-association.org.uk/blog/brexit-party-manifesto

Labour Party Manifesto 2019

Labour Party Manifesto 2019

This article provides a summary of the policy pledges in the Labour Party’s manifesto that relate to health, care and wellbeing. You can read the manifesto in full through these links:

NHS

  • Increase expenditure across the health sector by an average 4.3% a year. End patient charges, guarantee the standards of healthcare patients are entitled to receive from NHS England, invest in education for the health workforce and restore public health grants.
  • Improve stroke, heart disease and cancer survival rates by providing earlier diagnosis and improved screening rates.
  • Call a moratorium on bed cuts.
  • End and reverse privatisation in the NHS in the next Parliament. Repeal the Health and Social Care Act and reinstate the responsibilities of the Secretary of State to provide a comprehensive and universal healthcare system. End the requirement on health authorities to put services out to competitive tender. Ensure services are delivered in-house and also bring subsidiary companies back in-house. Halt the fire sale of NHS land and assets.
  • Publish an infrastructure plan to return NHS England to the international average level of capital investment and to ensure future decisions are transparent and balanced fairly between every region. Complete the confirmed hospital rebuilds and invest more in primary care settings, modern AI, cyber technology and state-of-the-art medical equipment, including more MRI and CT scanners.
  • Ensure data protection for NHS and patient information, a highly valuable publicly funded resource that can be used for better diagnosis of conditions and for ground-breaking research. Ensure NHS data is not exploited by international technology and pharmaceutical corporations.
  • Provide free annual NHS dental check-ups.
  • Ensure women’s and children’s health services are comprehensive.
  • Protect the rights of EU workers, other migrants and refugees and ensure all our services are made accessible to BAME, LGBT+ and disabled patients.
  • End mixed-sex wards.
  • Ensure our NHS becomes a net zero- carbon service with an NHS Forest of one million trees, more efficient heating and insulation systems, greater reliance on renewable energy, including more solar panelling and a transition to electric paramedic vehicles, NHS fleet cars and hybrid ambulances.
  • Stop plans to further entrench the private sector delivery of health care under the cover of integration plans set out in the NHS Long Term Plan. Join up, integrate and co-ordinate care through public bodies. Develop a planned model of joined-up community care, enabling people to live longer lives in better health in their own homes.
  • Ensure the voices of local people and NHS staff are heard in future
    developments of the health system.
  • Allocate a greater proportion of overall funding to close-to-home health services and build interdisciplinary, patient-focused services across primary care, mental health and social care. Ensure patients in deprived and remote communities will have better access to primary care services. Ensure those living with long-term conditions can access the care they need.
  • Provide an additional £1.6 billion a year to ensure new standards for mental health are enshrined in the NHS constitution ensuring access to treatments is on a par with that
    for physical health conditions.
  • Invest £2 billion to modernise mental health hospital facilities and end the use of inappropriate, out-of-area placements.
  • Implement in full the recommendations set out in the independent review of the Mental Health Act, so that people are given choice, autonomy and the treatment they need.
  • Invest more in eating disorders services and ensure NICE guidelines on eating disorders are implemented.
  • Improve access to psychological therapies to ensure they deliver the quality care patients deserve. Ensure provision of 24/7 crisis services.
  • More than double the annual spending on children and adolescent mental health services.
  • Establish a network of open access mental health hubs to enable more children to access mental health and recruit almost 3,500 qualified counsellors to guarantee every child access to school counsellors.
  • Put safe staffing limits for all staff into law.
  • Invest, train and develop NHS staff throughout their careers. Introduce a training bursary for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals. Remove the obstacles to ethical international recruitment.
  • Review tax and pension changes to ensure that the workforce is fairly rewarded and that services are not adversely affected.
  • Provide mental health support for staff and create a working environment within the NHS that is safe, flexible and free from harassment, bullying or violence.
  • The NHS will be at the forefront of the development of genomics and cell therapies so that patients can benefit from new treatments for cancer and dementia, whilst ensuring the UK continues to lead in medical developments.
  • Establish a generic drug company. If fair prices are rejected for patented drugs, use the Patents Act provisions, compulsory licences and research exemptions to secure access to generic versions, and aim to increase the number of pharmaceutical jobs in the UK.
  • We will introduce mandatory standards for NHS in-patient food and will provide free hospital parking for patients, staff and visitors.
  • Play an active role in the medical innovation model, ensuring rewards and incentives match the areas of greatest health need.
  • Ensure that all parts of the NHS, the treatment of patients, the employment of staff and medicine pricing are all fully excluded and protected from any international trade deals.
  • Progress clinically appropriate prescription of medical cannabis.
  • Abolish prescription charges in England.
  • Provide the necessary funding for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Social care

  • Build a comprehensive National Care Service for England. Provide community-based, person-centred support, underpinned by the principles of ethical care and independent living.
  • Provide free personal care, beginning with investments to ensure that older people have their personal care needs met, with the ambition to extend this provision to all
    working-age adults.
  • Develop eligibility criteria that ensures our service works for everyone, including people with complex conditions like dementia.
  • Ensure no one ever again needs to face catastrophic care costs of more than £100,000 for the care they need in old age, with a lifetime cap on personal contributions to care costs.
  • Invest in other social care packages and provide additional care packages to support both older people and working-age adults living independently in their own homes.
  • Investments in social care services will more than double the number of people receiving publicly funded care packages, improve the standard of care provided to them and remove the distinction between health and care needs.
  • The provision of additional care packages will support autistic people and people with
    learning disabilities to move out from inappropriate inpatient hospital settings and provide support in their own homes.
  • The National Care Service will work in partnership with the NHS.
  • Contracts for providing care will not be awarded to organisations that do not pay their fair share of taxes and do not meet high standards of quality care. The focus will be on the ethical delivery of care that ensures growing public sector provision and providers
    who meet standards of transparency, compliance and profit capping.
  • Invest to end the social care crisis, end 15-minute care visits and provide care workers with paid travel time, access to training and an option to choose regular hours.
  • Increase the Carer’s Allowance for unpaid full-time carers.

Health inequalities

  • Target a reduction in health inequalities with a comprehensive children’s health strategy. Introduce a Future Generations Well-being Act, enshrining health aims in all policies, and a new duty for NHS agencies to collaborate with directors of public health.
  • Invest more than £1 billion in public health and recruit 4,500 more health visitors and school nurses. Increase mandated health visits, ensure new mothers can have access to breastfeeding support and introduce mental health assessments in a maternal health check six weeks after birth.
  • Invest in children’s oral health, tackle childhood obesity and extend the sugar tax to milk drinks. Ban fast-food restaurants near schools and enforce stricter rules around the advertising of junk food and levels of salt in food.
  • Take actions to significantly reduce infant deaths and ensure families who lose a baby receive appropriate bereavement support as well as protections at work.
  • Urgently put in place a vaccination action plan to regain our measles-free status in WHO listings.
  • Fully fund sexual health services and roll out PrEP medication.
  • Address drug-related deaths, alcohol-related health problems and the adverse impacts of gambling as matters of public health, treated accordingly in expanded addiction support services. Alcoholic drinks will be labelled with clear health warnings. Review the evidence on minimum pricing.
  • Implement a Tobacco Control Plan and fund smoking cessation services.

Parenthood and early years

  • Reverse cuts to Sure Start and create a new service, Sure Start Plus, with enough centres to provide a genuinely universal service, available in all communities, focused on the under-2s.
  • ‘Poverty-proof’ schools, introducing free school meals for all primary school children
  • Launch a wholesale review of the care system, including kinship care, considering national standards such as a central register of foster parents and regulation of semi-supported housing, to ensure the needs of every child are met.
  • Revolutionise parents’ rights by increasing paid maternity leave from nine to 12 months, doubling paternity leave to four weeks and extending pregnancy protection.
  • Ban the dismissal of pregnant women without prior approval of the inspectorate.

Equalities and work

  • Transform the workplace and require all large employers to have flexible working, including a menopause policy, and consider changes to sickness and absence practices.
  • Create a safer society for women and prioritise domestic abuse as a health issue, introduce 10 days of paid leave for survivors of domestic abuse, and ensure women’s refuges receive the long-term sustainable funding they need.
  • Champion the social model of disability throughout government. Through the new Department for Women and Equalities, ensure that disabled people can be independent and equal in society, with choice and control over their own lives.
  • Transform the workplace for disabled people by requiring that all employers be trained to better support them, while introducing mandatory disability pay-gap reporting for companies with over 250 employees.
  • End disability discrimination and update the Equality Act to introduce new specific duties including disability
  • Recommend that the Equality and Human Rights Commission prepare a specific code of practice on reasonable adjustments to supplement existing codes. This will provide an appropriate balance between flexibility and clarity on how ‘reasonable’ cost is determined. The code will also set timescales for implementation of reasonable adjustments to end the long and distressing delays experienced by disabled workers.
  • Reinstate the Access to Elected Office Fund to enable disabled people to run for elected office.
  • Adopt a British Sign Language Act, giving BSL full legal recognition in law.
  • Work with employers, trade unions and public services to improve awareness of neurodiversity in the workplace and in society.
  • Put LGBT+ equality at the heart of government, ensuring our public services are LGBT+ inclusive and delivering on the national LGBT Action Plan.
  • Tackle the homelessness and rough sleeping crisis in the UK, ensuring that all strategies and services are tailored to understand needs unique to LGBT+ homeless people, particularly young people who make up a disproportionate number of currently homeless people.
  • Provide sufficient funding for schools to deliver mandatory LGBT+ inclusive relationships and sex education.
  • Keep the right for workers to be represented and recover their costs in cases of employer negligence leading to injury at work. Review the eligibility criteria for the criminal injuries compensation scheme.
  • Tackle the disproportionate levels of BAME children in custody, review the youth custody estate, strengthen youth courts and build on the Lammy Review.
  • Create a new Department for Women and Equalities, with a full-time Secretary of State, responsible for ensuring all our policies and laws are equality-impact assessed in order to deliver a fairer society for women and all under-represented groups. Establish a modernised National Women’s Commission as an independent advisory body to contribute to a Labour government.
  • Create a new ground for discrimination on the basis of socio-economic disadvantage.
  • Eradicate in-work poverty by tackling the structural causes of poverty and inequality, such as low pay and high living costs.
  • Strengthen protections for whistleblowers and rights against unfair dismissal for all workers, with extra protections for pregnant women, those going through the menopause and terminally ill workers.
  • Give all workers the right to flexible working.
  • Extend statutory maternity pay from nine to 12 months.
  • Double paternity leave from two weeks to four and increasing statutory paternity pay.
  • Introduce statutory bereavement leave, guaranteeing workers time off to grieve the loss of close family members or following miscarriage.
  • Review family-friendly employment rights, including rights to respond to family emergencies.
  • Require employers to devise and implement plans to eradicate the gender pay gap – and pay inequalities underpinned by race and/or disability – or face fines.
  • Give statutory rights to equalities representatives.
  • Set up a Royal Commission to bring health (including mental health) and safety legislation up to date.
  • Ensure that public-facing workers are protected by toughening the law against abuse and violence.
  • Reduce average full-time weekly working hours to 32 across the economy, with no
    loss of pay, funded by productivity increases.
  • Set up an independent Working Time Commission to advise on raising minimum holiday entitlements and reducing maximum weekly working time.
  • Mandate bargaining councils to negotiate reductions in working time.
  • Replace the Social Mobility Commission with a Social Justice Commission, based in the Treasury, with wide-ranging powers to hold governments to account.

Community, justice and discrimination

  • Work to eliminate institutional biases against BAME communities.
  • Establish a Royal Commission to develop a public health approach to substance misuse, focusing on harm reduction rather than criminalisation.
  • Champion a joined-up approach, fostering close working relationships between criminal justice agencies with education authorities, health services and others by establishing violence-reduction units and ensuring vulnerable people get the support they need by boosting public health, mental health and early years services. Prison is not the best place to address the drug addictions, mental illnesses and debts that lead many people into crime.
  • Build a properly funded, professionally staffed National Youth Service, and guarantee every young person has access to local, high-quality youth work.
  • Local government
    Introduce a ‘ruralproofing’ process so that all our laws, policies and programmes consider their impact on rural communities.
  • Where local areas experience a sharp rise in demand for services, make council funding more reactive, and will work with councils to establish such a fund to meet changing circumstances.
  • Rebuild early intervention services and replace the Troubled Families programme with a Stronger Families programme, refocused on long-term support to reduce the risk of children going into care.

Welfare and benefits

  • Scrap Universal Credit. Immediately stop moving people onto it and design an alternative system. Implement an emergency package of reforms to mitigate some of the worst features of UC while the replacement system is developed.
  • Scrap the benefit cap and the two child limit, and end the ‘rape clause’.
  • End the digital barrier and offer telephone, face-to-face and outreach support to people who claim benefits. Recruit 5,000 additional advisors to deliver this.
  • Scrap the bedroom tax and increasing the Local Housing Allowance
  • Stop Work Capability and PIP Assessments, and make sure all assessments are done in-house.
  • Increase Employment and Support Allowance by £30 per week for those in the work-related activity group.
  • Raise the basic rate of support for children with disabilities to the level of Child Tax Credits.
  • Ensure that severely disabled people without a formal carer receive extra support to enable them to meet the extra costs they inevitably face.
  • Support those who look after others, increasing the Carer’s Allowance to the level of the Jobseeker’s Allowance.
  • Help disabled people who want to work by bringing back specialist employment advisors, introducing a government-backed Reasonable Adjustments Passport scheme to help people move between jobs more easily, and reviewing support for disabled people at work, including the Access to Work scheme.
  • Abandon plans to raise the State Pension Age, leaving it at 66.

Housing

  • Create a new Department for Housing, make Homes England a more accountable national housing agency and put councils in the driving seat.
  • Deliver a new social housebuilding programme of more than a million homes over a decade, with council housing at its heart. By the end of the Parliament, build at an annual rate of at least 150,000 council and social homes, with 100,000 of these built by councils for social rent,
  • Scrap the definition of ‘affordable’, set as high as 80% of market rents, and replace it with a definition linked to local incomes.
  • End rough sleeping within five years, with a national plan driven by a prime minister-led taskforce. Expand and upgrade hostels, turning them into places where people can turn their lives around. Make available 8,000 additional homes for people with a history of rough sleeping. Tackle the wider causes of homelessness, raising the Local Housing Allowance in line with the 30th percentile of local rents, and earmarking an additional £1 billion a year for councils’ homelessness services.

Transport

  • Increase the funding available for cycling and walking. Bring together transport and land-use planning to create towns and cities in which walking and cycling are the best choice: safe, accessible, healthy, efficient, economical and pollution free.
  • Help children’s health and well-being by ensuring street designs provide freedom for physically active outdoor play and by introducing measures to ensure the zones around our schools are safer, with cleaner air.
  • Improve public transport, to help people to become less reliant on their cars, for our
    better health, for a cleaner environment and to improve quality of life in our towns and cities.
  • Adopt an ambitious Vision Zero approach to UK road safety, striving for zero deaths and serious injuries. Invest to make our neglected local roads, pavements and cycleways safer for the everyday journeys of both drivers and vulnerable road users.

Environment and food

  • Introduce a new Clean Air Act, with a vehicle scrappage scheme and clean air zones, complying with World Health Organisation limits for fine particles and nitrous oxides.
  • Maintain agricultural and rural structural funds but repurpose them to support environmental land management and sustainable methods of food production.
  • Introduce A Right to Food. Ensure everyone has access to healthy, nutritious, sustainably produced food. Halve food bank usage within a year and remove the need for them altogether in three years. Establish a National Food Commission and review the Allotments Act. Make food security a reason to intervene in the economy and work with local councils to minimise food waste

Public services

  • A £150 billion Social Transformation Fund to replace, upgrade and expand our schools, hospitals, care homes and council houses.

Published: 21st November, 2019

Source: The Patients Association

Story URL: https://www.patients-association.org.uk/blog/labour-party-manifesto

Green Party Manifesto 2019

Green Party Manifesto 2019

This is a digest of the Green Party’s manifesto pledges relating to health, care and wellbeing. You can also read the manifesto in full, and also in this easy read version.

Although technically the Green Party is only standing in England and Wales (with separate parties in Scotland and Northern Ireland), as this is its manifesto for the UK general election, the policies below are intended to apply at a UK level unless stated, or clearly relevant only to non-devolved policy areas.

NHS

  • Increase funding for the NHS by at least £6 billion per year each year, until 2030 (a 4.5% increase on the 2018/2019 NHS Budget), and a further £1 billion a year in nursing higher education, allowing for nursing bursaries to be reinstated. This will aim to bring health service spending in line with northern European averages.
  • Roll back privatisation of the NHS, through repealing the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and abolishing the internal market. This aims to reduce private sector involvement.
  • Replace private sector involvement in the NHS with community leadership. Allow local authorities to lead a ‘bottom up’ process, and services will be planned and provided without contracts through Health Boards, which could cover more than one
    local authority area if there were local support.
  • Provide stronger powers to Health and Wellbeing boards to represent the interest of the public in the NHS.
  • Reinstate the Health Secretary’s duty to provide services throughout England and create a duty to ensure there are enough health and care staff – including nursing – to meet the needs of the population.
  • Focus funding to enable the construction of new community health centres, bringing health services closer to people’s homes. These health centres are intended to pioneer preventative healthcare, helping people live healthier lifestyles so that they are less likely to fall ill.
  • Focus funding to enable major improvements to mental health care to truly put it on an equal footing with physical health care, and ensure that everyone who needs it can access evidence-based mental health therapies within 28 days. Ensure that tailored and specific provision is readily available for the particular needs of Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Trans, Intersex, Queer and Asexual (LGBTIQA+) and Black Minority ethnic (BME) communities, children and adolescents, and older people.
  • Focus funding to provide better reproductive health services. Ensure that all forms of birth control are free, to give women a real choice of the birth control that works best for them. Ensure that PrEP – a daily pill which prevents HIV infection – is provided by NHS England without delay.

Social care

  • Provide an additional £4.5 billion a year to fund councils to provide free social care to people over 65 who need support in their own homes. Explore how this free social care at home could be extended to everyone who needs it, regardless of age.

Welfare and benefits

  • Phase in a Universal Basic Income (UBI), an unconditional financial payment to everyone at a level above their subsistence needs.
  • Include additional payments above the basic adult rate for some groups of people:
    • Pensioners will receive a weekly payment totalling £178.
    • Disabled people will receive an additional supplement to their UBI, as will lone parents and lone pensioners.
    • People who were reliant on Housing Benefit before UBI was introduced will continue
      to receive it, so that they can cover their rent.
    • Families with an income of under £50,000 per year will receive an additional supplement of £70 per week for each of their first two children and a further £50 per week for each additional child.
    • Families with an income of over £50,000 per year will receive smaller additional supplements per child, with the amount decreasing further the more a family earns.
  • Provide all pensioners with a decent income, recognising their contribution to society over their lifetimes. All pensioners will receive £178 a week (£10 higher than the current highest possible state pension payment). This rate will be increased in line with inflation.
  • Ensure nobody who takes times off work in order to care for loved ones, or has an irregular employment record, unjustly struggles to access the state pension. Everyone will receive UBI, at either the adult (£89 per week) or pension (£178 per week) rate.
  • Continue to pay a full Carers Allowance to carers, on top of the UBI payment. This means that a full-time carer would continue to receive their £3,200 Carers Allowance, plus £4,630 in UBI payments a year.

Government – national and local

  • Move away from consumption and Gross Domestic Product as key measures of economic success and towards indicators that measure human and ecological wellbeing, such as work/life balance and quality of life.
  • Introduce a Future Generations Act for England, modelled on the current Act for Wales, building the needs of future generations into every government decision. Appoint a Minister for Future Generations to represent young people at the heart of government.
  • Scrap the Home Office, and end its decades-long creation of a hostile environment for Black Minority Ethnic (BME) and other minority communities.
  • Stop the gagging of our democracy through the creation of better protections and support for whistleblowers in the public and private sector including a public interest defence for breaching the Official Secrets Act.
  • Increase central government funding to councils by £10 billion a year. This funding, combined with the local council revenue raising, will enable local government to improve the frontline services they provide and which local people need and want.
  • Introduce participatory budgeting, to enable local citizens to decide how to allocate part of the council budget, through identifying, discussing and prioritising public spending projects, and having real power to decide how money is spent.

Discrimination

  • Establish a cross-government strategy tasked with tackling ethnic inequalities, ranging from school exclusions through to biased treatment in the criminal justice system, and covering housing, employment and health.
  • Guarantee safe and discreet access to public services such as the police, health and education, so that migrants can access these without fear of being subject to immigration enforcement. Scrap health charging for migrants.
  • Create a new Ministry for the Interior that will be fully committed to upholding human rights. This Ministry will have responsibility for protecting the fundamental rights of Travellers.
  • Support employers to explore the benefits of offering menstruation and menopausal leave to workers.
  • Properly fund training to support the delivery of comprehensive, age appropriate Personal Health and Sexual Education (PHSE) lessons in schools covering all aspects of sex and relationships, with a focus on consent.
  • End the opt-out of LGBTIQA+ inclusive PHSE classes at school to ensure that every child learns about different types of couples and families that make up UK society.
  • Fund schools to provide free eco-friendly sanitary products to pupils.
  • Introduce a legal right to independent living for disabled people, overseen by a National Independent Living Support Service. This service will support and empower disabled people who do choose to live independently.
  • Fully embed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) into UK law. This will mean that the unacceptable practices of compulsory treatment, chemical and physical restraint, isolation, and seclusion are made illegal in the UK.

Housing

  • The creation of at least 100,000 new socially rented homes a year through low carbon construction and retrofitting, converting and extending existing buildings.
  • Improve the insulation of every home in the UK, making sure they are all warm in winter.
  • Ensure that all new and renovated homes meet the highest possible standards and meet social needs.
  • Empower local authorities to bring empty homes back into use and create a total of 100,000 new homes for social rent (council homes) a year, built to the Passivhaus or equivalent standard.
  • Allocate funding to local authorities for council home creation based on the needs of their area.
  • Support councils to better provide housing for disabled people, supporting every council to draw up their own disability housing plans, and work to significantly increase the numbers of homes built to mobility standards over the next five years.
  • Ensure all new developments will be located and designed to ensure that residents do not need cars to live a full life, either having safe pedestrian access to local shops and schools, or are within 1km of a local rail, tube or tram station, or 500m of a high frequency bus service.
  • Make energy efficiency and elimination fuel poverty a national infrastructure priority.
  • Significantly reduce heating bills by improving 1 million existing homes and other buildings a year, so that they reach the highest standard of energy efficiency (over and above the Energy Performance Certificate A rating). Homes lived in by people on low incomes will be the first to receive these improvements.
  • Give councils clearer guidance and better training on helping homeless people, including support for the Housing First approach, a widening of the grounds on which councils can offer help to people without a home, and the provision of social services once a person is housed.

Transport

  • Spending £2.5 billion a year on new cycleways and footpaths, built using sustainable materials, such as woodchips and sawdust.
  • Making travelling by public transport cheaper than travelling by car, by reducing the cost of travelling by train and bus.
  • Funding local authorities to improve the appearance and facilities of bus stops, bus stations and train stations, to make them more user friendly and convenient for both passengers and transport staff. This includes the provision of more public toilets, and ensuring full accessibility for disabled people.
  • Ensure through the planning system that all new housing is served by high quality walking and cycling routes and much improved bus, tram and local rail services. New residents must not be forced into car use.

Food and agriculture

  • Establish a Land Commission to investigate the effects concentrated land ownership is having on food and farming systems, housing, local economies, cultures and livelihoods.
  • Secure protection of rural residents and communities from exposure to pesticides sprayed on nearby crop fields and prohibit the use of pesticides in the locality of homes, schools and children’s playgrounds.
  • Establish a Food and Agriculture Research Council to research sustainable and health-promoting methods of food production and distribution.
  • Incentivise changes in food consumption, by promoting the benefits of healthy diets, based on locally and sustainably produced food, and ‘less but better’ meat and dairy consumption, including clear labelling to indicate carbon emissions, high animal welfare and intensive production methods.
  • Support the transition to plant-based diets by phasing in a tax on meat and dairy products over the next ten years, to reduce the 5% of the UK’s carbon emissions that come from the methane produced by livestock.
  • Legislate for a right to food, giving everyone access to healthy, nutritious, locally grown food, including the creation of new providers to supply this food at an affordable price to schools. Promote children’s access to healthy food and tackle childhood obesity, including by updating the School Food Standards to reflect the latest nutritional guidance and apply to all schools, and renaming ‘Free School Meals’ the ‘School Meals Allowance’ to tackle stigma.

Drugs

  • Enable medical scientists to conduct research on psychoactive drugs to develop new treatments for mental and physical illnesses.
  • Invest in education and treat problematic drug use as a health issue, not a crime, building on the successful approaches pioneered in numerous other countries.
  • Replace the current system of prohibition with an evidence-based, legalised, regulated system of drug control. The production, import and supply of all drugs will be regulated according to the specific risks that they pose to the individual, to society and to the environment.
  • Make heroin available on prescription after a medical assessment by a doctor and provide safe facilities for users who inject drugs, building on the success of drug consumption rooms in other countries which have encouraged more problematic drug users into treatment.
  • Regulate access for adults to stimulant and psychedelic drugs based on the evidence around harm reduction through pharmacies, after a safety consultation with a qualified pharmacist, at fixed doses and fixed prices.
  • Make cannabis, labelled according to laboratory-tested strength, available to adults from licensed small businesses. Cannabis will be sold subject to minimum unit pricing and plain packaging.
  • Allow for licensed Cannabis Social Clubs where adults can collectively cultivate and consume cannabis and allow adults to grow a limited number of cannabis plants at home.
  • Prohibit commercial advertising of alcohol (and all other drugs) and introduce minimum unit pricing, which has been shown to reduce harmful drinking in Scotland.
  • Set up an independent statutory body, the Advisory Council for Drug Safety, comprised of experts, who will be responsible for monitoring patterns of drug use, advising the government on changes to regulation and sourcing socially and ecologically sustainable supplies of opium.

Animals

  • Stop the use of primates, cats and dogs in research and the importation of monkeys for use in labs, and work towards an outright ban on all animal testing.
  • Advocate for European legalisation to end factory farming, prohibit the routine use of antibiotics for farm animals, and ban the killing of animals for sport across the EU.
  • Encourage the use of companion animals in therapy and other treatments, drawing on evidence showing the beneficial impact of contact with animals on human psychology.

Parenthood

  • Provide 35 hours a week of free childcare for all, from the age of nine months. This free childcare will include in-work facilities, such as on-site crèches and flexible working opportunities (e.g. jobshares) to help parents who choose to return to work.
  • Improve access to high quality care during pregnancy and ensure that all women are entitled to the care of a single midwife through prenatal care, birth and the first month of post-natal care. Baby clinics will be expanded, so that women can get access to health visitors and take their babies for regular checkups at a location and time that is
    convenient for them.

Work

  • Creating an environment where everyone feels fulfilled in worthwhile employment and pursuing policy which will lead to a shorter working week and better work life balance, freeing up people to spend more time with their loved ones and doing things they love – with no loss of pay. Support employers to explore four day working weeks in their workplace, driving up productivity as well as boosting the wellbeing of staff.

Published: 21st November 2019

Source: The Patients Association

Story URL: https://www.patients-association.org.uk/blog/green-party-manifesto

Liberal Democrat Party Manifesto 2019

Liberal Democrat Party Manifesto 2019

Below is a summary of the policy pledges that relate to health, care and wellbeing, broadly defined, from the Liberal Democrats’ manifesto.

They are presented as the pledges alone, without the party’s surrounding narrative. Policies have been grouped under headings by the Patients Association, based on the layout of the manifesto.

Other parties’ manifestos will be summarised in the same way when they are published.

The full manifesto can be read on the Liberal Democrats’ website:

The health and care system

  • Raise £7 billion a year additional revenue which will be ring-fenced to be spent only on NHS and social care services. This revenue will be generated from a 1p rise on the basic, higher and additional rates of Income Tax (this revenue will be neither levied nor spent in Scotland.)
  • Use this cash to relieve the crisis in social care, tackle urgent workforce shortages, and to invest in mental health and prevention services.
  • Also use £10 billion of the new capital fund to make necessary investments in equipment, hospitals, community, ambulance and mental health services buildings, to bring them into the 21st century.
  • Commission the development of a dedicated, progressive Health and Care Tax, offset by other tax reductions, on the basis of wide consultation and extensive engagement with the public. The aim will be to bring together spending on both services into a collective budget and set out transparently, on people’s payslips, what the Government is spending on health and social care.
  • Establish a cross-party health and social care convention that builds on the existing body of work from previous conventions, select committees and the 2018 citizens’ assembly to reach agreement on the long-term sustainable funding of a joined-up system of health and social care. Introducing a cap on the cost of care, as provided for in the Care Act but not so far delivered, would be a key starting point for Liberal Democrat participants.
  • Introduce a statutory independent budget monitoring body for health and care, similar to the Office for Budget Responsibility. This would report every three years on how much money the system needs to deliver safe and sustainable treatment and care, and how much is needed to meet the costs of projected increases in demand and any new initiatives – to ensure any changes in services are properly costed and affordable.

Mental health services

  • Ring-fence funding from the 1p Income Tax rise to provide additional investment in mental health.
  • Introduce further mental health maximum waiting time standards, starting with children’s services, services for people with eating disorders, and severe and enduring conditions. Aim to ensure that all children and young people with a diagnosable condition receive NHS treatment (currently only 35 per cent do).
  • Increase access to a broader range and number of clinically effective talking therapies so that hundreds of thousands more people can receive this support, with equal access for older people, BAME and LGBT+ patients, and people with autism or learning disabilities.
  • Make prescriptions for people with chronic mental health conditions available for free on the NHS, as part of our commitment to review the entire schedule of exemptions for prescription charges, which has not been fully updated since 1968 and contains many anomalies.
  • Transform perinatal mental health support for those who are pregnant, new mothers and those who have experienced miscarriage or stillbirth, and help them get early care when needed.
  • Ensure every new mother gets a dedicated maternal postnatal appointment as well as introducing other measures to tackle under-diagnosis of maternal physical and mental health problems.
  • Implement all the recommendations of the Wessely review of the Mental Health Act, including bringing forward the necessary investment to modernise and improve inpatient settings and ambulances. The principle of ‘care not containment’ will be applied to mental health, while ensuring an emergency bed is always available if needed.
  • Ensure that no one in crisis is turned away, improving integration between mental health trusts, local authorities and hospitals, to promote a holistic approach to improving mental health services. Work to make mental health crisis services 24-hour, including mental health liaison teams in all hospitals, and ending the use of police cells for people facing a mental health crisis.
  • Ensure those admitted to hospital for mental ill-health are able to be treated close to home for all but the most specialist mental health services, minimising the use of hospital admissions through high-quality community and housing support for people who don’t need an admission.
  • Ensure that all frontline public service professionals, including in schools and universities, receive better training in mental health, and add a requirement for mental health first aiders in the Health and Safety First Aid Regulations.
  • Fully introduce Sir Stephen Bubb’s ‘Time For Change’ report recommendations and ensure that Assessment and Treatment Units are closed urgently.
  • Stop the cliff edge of young people transitioning to adult services and ensure uninterrupted care.
    Establish a Student Mental Health Charter which will require all universities and colleges to ensure a good level of mental health provisions and services for students.
  • Tackle stigma against mental ill-health through investment in public education including Time to Talk.
  • Require that a fair proportion of all public funding for health research should be focused on research into mental ill-health, including research into the different mental health needs of different communities within the UK such as BAME and LGBT+ people.
  • Improve mental health support and treatment within the criminal justice system and ensure continuity of mental health care and addiction treatment in prison and the community.
  • Regard every suicide as preventable. Take an evidence led approach to prevention, making it easier for people at risk to get the help they need, and equipping more members of the public with the skills and confidence to talk about suicide.
  • Ensure that LGBT+ inclusive mental health services receive funding and support.
  • Develop a scheme to reward employers who invest in the mental wellbeing of their employees, piloting reduced business rates for employers who support employees’ mental wellbeing and provide mental health first aid training to staff.

Problem gambling

  • Introduce a compulsory levy on gambling companies to fund research, education and treatment of problem gambling.
  • Ban the use of credit cards for gambling.
  • Restrict gambling advertising.
  • Establish a Gambling Ombudsman.

Access to Care

  • End the GP shortfall by 2025 by both training more GPs and making greater appropriate use of nurses, physiotherapists and pharmacists, and also phone or video appointments, where clinically suitable. Make sure they are based in premises that are fit-for-purpose and equipped with modern technology and well-connected to other parts of the healthcare system.
  • Support GPs, nurses, physiotherapists, mental health and other professionals to work together across their local areas to provide multi-disciplinary health and care services, to improve appointments outside of normal working hours, including mobile services.
  • Review the NHS’s future needs for all staff, and produce a national workforce strategy, taking the long view and matching training places to future needs. Do more to retain staff as well as to train them. Take a ‘what works’ approach to improving retention including continuing professional development, better support, and more flexible working and careers. This will help to retain staff through more flexible working. Act on the pensions crisis that is driving away experienced clinicians and worsening waiting times and the workforce crisis.
  • Target extra help for nursing students, starting with bursaries for specialties where shortages are most acute such as mental health and learning disability nursing, linked to clinical placements in areas that are particularly under-staffed.
  • Attract and support talented professionals from countries with developed health systems, with an ethical recruitment policy in line with World Health Organization guidance, and make the current registration process more flexible and accessible without lowering standards. Attract staff back from EU member states, encouraging them to once again come and work in our public services.
  • Encourage healthcare professionals to work in areas where there are shortages, especially inner city and remote rural areas, through the Patient Premium – which would give incentive payments to clinicians.
  • Implement the recommendations of Roger Kline’s report into the lack of diversity in senior management in the NHS and commission a strategic analysis of racial discrimination in the NHS.
  • Address continuing inequalities in health services access faced by same-sex couples, and continue to improve LGBT+ healthcare overall.

Health and care structures and finance

  • Support the changes to the Health and Social Care Act recommended by the NHS, with the objective of making the NHS work in a more efficient and joined-up way, and to end the automatic tendering of services.
  • Move towards single place-based budgets for health and social care – encouraging greater collaboration between the local NHS and Local Authorities in commissioning. Encourage Clinical Commissioning Groups and Local Councils to collaborate on commissioning, including further use of pooled budgets, joint appointments and joint arrangements, and encourage emerging governance structures for Integrated Care Systems to include local government, and be accountable to them.
  • Support the creation of a new Professional Body for Care Workers, to promote clear career pathways with ongoing training and development, and improved pay structures.
  • Introduce a new requirement for professional regulation of all care home managers, who would also be required to have a relevant qualification. For care staff, set a target that 70 per cent of care staff should have an NVQ level 2 or equivalent (currently levels are around 50 per cent). Provide support for ongoing training of care workers to improve retention and raise the status of caring.
  • Provide more choice at the end of life, and move towards free end-of-life social care, whether people spend their last days at home or in a hospice.

Carers

  • Introduce a statutory guarantee of regular respite breaks for unpaid carers, and require councils to make regular contact with carers to offer support and signpost services.
  • Provide a package of carer benefits such as free leisure centre access, free bus travel for young carers, and self-referral to socially prescribed activities and courses.
  • Raise the amount people can earn before losing their Carer’s Allowance from £123 to £150 a week, and reduce the number of hours’ care per week required to qualify for it.

Help to stay healthy

  • Publish a National Wellbeing Strategy, which puts better health and wellbeing for all at the heart of government. Ministers from all departments will be responsible for implementing the strategy.
  • Pursue a Health in All Policies approach, as recommended by the World Health Organization. This means that national and local decision making, policies and interventions will only take place after the full impact on people’s mental and physical health has been fully assessed.
  • Keep public health within local government, where it is effectively joined-up with preventive community services. Re-instate the funding that was cut from public health budgets and join up services across public health and the NHS.
  • Introduce a new statutory requirement for public health interventions evaluated as cost effective by NICE to be available to qualifying people, within three months of publication of guidance.
  • Develop a strategy to tackle childhood obesity including restricting the marketing of junk food to children, and closing loopholes in the Soft Drinks Industry Levy. Extend it to include juice- and milk-based drinks that are high in added sugar.
  • Guarantee that every child who is eligible for free school meals has access to at least an hour a day of free activities to improve their health and wellbeing. Local authorities will be funded through the public health grant to deliver the ‘Wellbeing Hour’ according to local needs, for example through voluntary organisations or after-school clubs.
  • Require labelling for food products, in a readable font size, and publication of information on calorie, fat, sugar and salt content in restaurants and takeaways.
  • Restrict how products high in fat, salt and sugar are marketed and advertised by multiple retailers.
  • Reduce smoking rates by introducing a new levy on tobacco companies to contribute to the costs of health care and smoking cessation services.
  • Legislate for the right to unpolluted air, and take urgent action to reduce pollution especially from traffic.
  • Introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol, taking note of the impact of the policy in Scotland. Ensure universal access to addiction treatment.
  • Fund public information campaigns to tackle stigmas within specific communities.
  • Address the scandal of women with learning disabilities dying an average 20 years younger, setting a national target for reducing this gap. Ensure people with learning disabilities can access screening, prevention, health and care services fairly.
  • Review on the basis of evidence any unscientific and discriminatory practices aimed solely at LGBT+ people, such as around blood donations.
  • Ensure Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention is fully available to all who need it on the NHS.

Wellbeing

  • Introduce a wellbeing budget, following the example of New Zealand – basing decisions on what will improve wellbeing as well as on economic and fiscal indicators.
  • Appoint a Minister for Wellbeing, who will make an annual statement to Parliament on the main measures of wellbeing and the effects of government policies on them.
  • Introduce wellbeing impact assessments for all government policies.
  • Prioritise government spending on the things that matter most to people’s wellbeing – both now and in the future – including:
    • Access to high-quality mental health and other health services.
    • Schools that build emotional resilience and properly prepare our children for both work and relationships.
    • Jobs for the future, through further education and Skills Wallets.
    • Community services that tackle loneliness and prevent isolation.
    • Targeted support for those most at risk of poor wellbeing: vulnerable children, people who are homeless, victims of trafficking and exploitation.
    • Providing welfare support to those who need it.
    • Reducing Adverse Childhood Experiences by investing further in services during pregnancy and the first two years of a child’s life.
  • Ensure that the environment is protected for future generations with clean air to breathe and urgent action to tackle the climate emergency.
  • Introduce ‘baby boxes’ in England, as advocated by the Royal College of Midwives, to provide babies and parents with essential items to help with health and development.
  • Act on the recommendations of the Public Inquiry into Infected Blood, ensuring a just settlement for victims and their families.
  • Establish a legal right to food to enshrine in law the government’s responsibility to ensure that existing and new public policy is audited for its impact on food security.

Education

  • End the crisis in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities funding by allocating additional cash to local authorities to halve the amount that schools pay towards the cost of a child’s Education Health and Care Plan.
  • Introduce a ‘curriculum for life’, in all state-funded schools. This will include Personal, Social and Health Education, financial literacy, environmental awareness, first aid and emergency lifesaving skills, mental health education, citizenship and age-appropriate Relationships and Sex Education (RSE). Teaching about sexual consent, LGBT+ relationships, and issues surrounding explicit images and content will be included in RSE.
  • Extend free school meals to all children in primary education and to all secondary school children whose families receive Universal Credit, as well as promoting school breakfast clubs.
  • Ensure that all teaching staff have the training to identify mental health issues and that schools provide immediate access for pupil support and counselling.
  • Ensure there is a specific individual responsible for mental health in schools, who would provide a link to expertise and support for children experiencing problems. They would also take a lead on developing whole-school approaches to mental well-being.
  • Give schools a statutory duty to promote the wellbeing of their pupils as part of the inspection framework.
  • Include teaching about how to use social media responsibly in our ’curriculum for life‘ and provide advice and support for parents on how to help their children protect themselves online.
  • Require universities to make mental health services accessible to their students, and introduce a Student Mental Health Charter through legislation.

Drugs

  • Move the departmental lead on drugs policy to the Department of Health and Social Care, and, crucially, invest in more addiction services and support for drug users.
  • Divert people arrested for possession of drugs for personal use into treatment, and imposing civil penalties rather than imprisonment.
  • Help to break the grip of the criminal gangs by introducing a legal, regulated market for cannabis. Introduce limits on the potency levels and permit cannabis to be sold through licensed outlets to adults over the age of 18.

Reproductive health and parenthood

  • Decriminalise abortion across the UK while retaining the existing 24-week limit and legislate for access to abortion facilities within Northern Ireland.
  • Enforce safe zones around abortion clinics, make intimidation or harassment of abortion service users and staff outside clinics, or on common transport routes to these services, illegal.
  • Fund abortion clinics to provide their services free of charge to service users regardless of nationality or residency.
  • Increase statutory paternity leave from the current two weeks up to six weeks and ensure that parental leave is a day-one right, and address continuing inequalities faced by same-sex couples.
  • Require organisations to publish parental leave and pay policies.

Welfare benefits

  • Introduce an incentive-based scheme to replace the current sanctions system, which does not encourage people into work, penalises people with mental health issues and deters people from claiming support.
  • Reverse the cuts to Employment Support Allowance for those in the work-related activity group.
  • End Work Capability Assessments and replace them with a new system that is run by local authorities and based on real-world tests.
  • Reinstate the Independent Living Fund.
  • Radically overhaul the Bereavement Allowance, slashed by the Conservatives, so that widows and widowers receive far more support and extend the payments to unmarried couples when a parent dies.

Housing

  • Build at least 100,000 homes for social rent each year and ensure that total housebuilding increases to 300,000 each year.
    Set clearer standards for homes that are socially rented.
  • Urgently publish a cross-Whitehall plan to end all forms of homelessness.
  • Cut energy bills, end fuel poverty by 2025 and reduce emissions from buildings, including by providing free retrofits for low-income homes, piloting a new subsidised Energy-Saving Homes scheme, graduating Stamp Duty Land Tax by the energy rating of the property and reducing VAT on home insulation.

Justice system

  • Embed Trauma-informed Youth Intervention Specialists in all Major Trauma Centres.
  • Introduce a target of one hour for handover of people suffering from mental health crisis from police to mental health services and support the police to achieve adequate levels of training in mental health response.
  • Ensure that all prison-leavers have a suitably timed release and are supported with suitable accommodation, a bank account and employment or training, and are registered with a local GP.
  • Improve mental health support and treatment within the criminal justice system and ensure continuity of mental health care and addiction treatment in prison and the community.
  • Establish a firewall to prevent public agencies from sharing personal information with the Home Office for the purposes of immigration enforcement and repeal the immigration exemption in the Data Protection Act.

Human rights

  • Complete reform of the Gender Recognition Act to remove the requirement for medical reports, scrap the fee and recognise non-binary gender identities.
  • Increase accessibility to public places and transport by making more stations wheelchair accessible, improving the legislative framework governing blue badges, setting up a benchmarking standard for accessible cities, and banning discrimination by private hire vehicles and taxis.
  • End period poverty by removing VAT on sanitary products and providing them for free in schools, hospitals, hostels, shelters, libraries, leisure centres, stadiums, GP surgeries, food banks, colleges and universities.
  • Introduce a general duty of care for the environment and human rights – requiring companies, financial institutions and public sector agencies to exercise due diligence in avoiding specified activities such as child labour or modern slavery, or specified products such as commodities produced with deforestation, in their operations and supply chains, and to report on their actions.

Democracy and government

  • Decentralise decision-making from Whitehall and Westminster, by inviting local areas to take control of the services that matter to them most. 
  • Give democratic local government enhanced powers to call on new income sources appropriate to their area to support local services and investment.
  • Devolve more decision-making power over key levers of economic development including transport, energy, housing and skills.
  • Specifically include health and education departments of the Scottish and Welsh governments in UK policymaking on drug policy and student visas.

Environment and Transport

  • Introduce a National Food Strategy, including the use of public procurement policy, to promote the production and consumption of healthy, sustainable and affordable food and cut down on food waste.
  • Pass a Clean Air Act, based on World Health Organisation guidelines, enforced by a new Air Quality Agency. The Act will enshrine the legal right to unpolluted air wherever you live.
  • Introduce a nationwide strategy to promote walking and cycling, including the creation of dedicated safe cycling lanes, increasing spending per head five-fold to reach 10 per cent of the transport budget.

Animals

  • Improve standards of animal health and welfare in agriculture, including a ban on caged hens, and promote the responsible use of antimicrobials.
  • Minimise the use of animals in scientific experimentation, including by funding research into alternatives.

Published: 20th November, 2019

Source: The Patients Association

Story URL: https://www.patients-association.org.uk/blog/liberal-democrat-manifesto

Plaid Cymru Party Manifestio 2019

Plaid Cymru Party Manifestio 2019

You can read the manifesto below, or click here to download a pdf version.

Sinn Féin Party Manifesto 2019

Sinn Féin Party Manifesto 2019

Click the link below to view a PDF of the Sinn Féin manifesto –

https://www.sinnfein.ie/files/2019/A4_2019manifesto6C.pdf

Published: 20th November 2019

Source: Sinn Féin

PDF Link: https://www.sinnfein.ie/files/2019/A4_2019manifesto6C.pdf

Scottish National Party Manifesto 2019

Democratic Unionist Party Manifesto 2019

Democratic Unionist Party Manifesto 2019

Click the link below to view a PDF of the DUP manifesto –

https://www.mydup.com/images/uploads/dup-manifesto.pdf

Published: 20th November 2019

Source: My DUP

PDF Link: manifesto.pdf

General Election 2019 Easy Read Manifestos

General Election 2019 Easy Read Manifestos

Mencap have called on the main political parties taking part in the general election 2019 on Thursday 12 December to provide easy read versions of their manifestos.

Working towards a world where people with a learning disability and their families and carers are listened to and included in the decisions that affect their lives.

Click the following links to read the manifestos in PDF format –

Plaid Cymru Manifesto (English)

Plaid Cymru Manifesto (Welsh)

Labour Manifesto

Green Party Manifesto

Liberal Democrats Manifesto

Conservative Party Manifesto

You can also access an easy read guide to voting on our website, Click Here.

Published: November 2019

Source: Mencap

Story URL: https://www.mencap.org.uk/get-involved/campaign-mencap/elections/general-election-2019-easy-read-manifestos

Easy Read Guide to Voting in the 2019 General Election

Easy Read Guide to Voting in the 2019 General Election

Take a look at the easy read guide to voting in the December 2019 General Election.

Mencap have produced the following guide together with the Electoral Commission.

Click Here to read the guide in PDF format.

You can also access easy read party manifestos on our website, Click Here.