Intended for healthcare professionals

Feature UK General Election 2019

The main parties’ pledges on health

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 27 November 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6702
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

The manifestos of the Conservatives,1 Labour,2 and the Liberal Democrats3 contain many promises aimed at improving health and social care. Gareth Iacobucci picks out the highlights



  • Increase NHS funding by £34bn a year by the end of the parliament (£20.5bn in real terms, a 3.4% rise)

  • £1bn extra a year for social care in every year of the new parliament

  • Build and fund 40 new hospitals over the next 10 years, and make 20 hospital upgrades

  • £74m over three years for extra capacity in community care settings for people with learning disabilities and autism

  • £25m (pledged in August 2019) for hospice care


  • Increase expenditure across health sector by an average 4.3% a year (£26bn increase by end of the parliament)

  • Provide an extra £1.6bn a year to ensure that new standards for mental health are enshrined in the NHS Constitution, ensuring that access to treatment is on a par with that for physical health conditions

  • Invest £2bn to modernise hospital facilities and end the use of inappropriate out-of-area placements

  • Return NHS England to the international average level of capital investment (£15bn increase over parliament)

  • Invest more than £1bn in public health

  • Allocate a greater proportion of overall funding to health services close to patients' homes and build interdisciplinary, patient focused services across primary care, mental health, and social care

Liberal Democrats

  • Raise £7bn a year from a 1p in the pound rise in income tax. Money will be ringfenced for social care, staffing, and mental health and prevention services

  • £10bn capital investment in equipment and buildings

  • Reinstate funding that was cut from public health budgets by the Conservatives

  • Increase government spending on climate and environmental objectives to at least 5% of the total within five years

  • Develop a dedicated, progressive Health and Care Tax, offset by other tax reductions, …

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