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News UK General Election 2015

What the political parties are pledging on the NHS

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 15 April 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h2031
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. 1The BMJ

With the UK general election approaching, the main parties are launching their manifestos this week. Gareth Iacobucci outlines their pledges on the NHS and healthcare

Conservative Party


  • Continue to increase spending on the NHS, supported by a strong economy, so the NHS stays free at point of use

  • Spend at least £8bn a year above inflation by 2020 to fund and support the goals of NHS England’s Five Year Forward View

  • Invest more in primary care

  • Guarantee that people will not have to sell their home to fund their residential social care


  • Continue to integrate health and social care through schemes such as the pooling of budgets in Greater Manchester and the Better Care Fund

  • Implement the findings of the Innovative Medicines and Medical Technology Review

  • Increase the use of cost effective new drugs and technologies and encourage large scale trials of innovative technologies and health services


  • Before its manifesto launch, the Conservatives pledged to train an additional 5000 GPs (pledge not specified in the manifesto)

Access and new targets

  • Enable everyone in England to be able to see a GP from 8 am to 8 pm, seven days a week, by 2020

  • Provide same day GP appointments for patients aged over 75

  • Lead the world in fighting cancer and in finding a cure for dementia

  • Improve standards in all areas of care

  • Provide people with full access to their own electronic health records, while retaining their right to opt out of records being shared electronically

  • Enforce the new access and waiting time standards for people with mental ill health, including children and teenagers

  • Ensure that women have access to mental health support during and after pregnancy, while strengthening the health visiting programme for new mothers

  • Increase support for full-time unpaid carers

Use of private sector

  • No pledges specified

Public health

  • Introduce plain packaging of cigarettes

  • Take action to reduce childhood …

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