Intended for healthcare professionals

Feature UK General Election 2017

What the three main parties are promising on health

BMJ 2017; 357 doi: (Published 24 May 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j2467
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. London

Matthew Limb compares the health and social care pledges in the Conservative, Labour, and Liberal Democrat manifestos

Conservative Party

Funding and the NHS

Theresa May said that, if the Conservatives were re-elected on 8 June, she would give the NHS the resources it needs. She pledged to increase spending on the NHS by a minimum of £8bn in real terms over the next five years, which she said would raise real terms funding per head of population for “every year of the parliament.”

The Conservatives’ manifesto pledged to introduce a new GP contract to help develop wider primary care services and to reform the consultants’ contract “to reflect the changed nature of hospital care over the past twenty years.”

In addition, the target for 95% of patients in hospital emergency departments to be seen within four hours would be retained.


The Conservatives’ manifesto has retained a commitment to reduce immigration to the tens of thousands. It also pledges to double the charge that organisations pay to employ workers from outside the European Economic Area. The party’s manifesto promises that by the end of the next parliament the immigration skills charge, which was introduced in April and currently stands at £1000 per year of a tier 2 visa (for immigrants working in skilled areas), would rise to £2000. It also pledges to recruit up to 10 000 more mental health professionals.

Social care

If the Conservatives are elected, homeowners’ property wealth would come under local councils’ means tests to gauge people’s entitlement to state funded support for social care in their own home. Currently, people can qualify for state funded social care at home, such as help with washing and dressing, if they hold less than £23 250 in savings and income. Under the proposed change, they could still be eligible if …

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