Intended for healthcare professionals

Observations Health Policy

What the SNP, Plaid Cymru, the DUP, and Greens are promising the NHS

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 06 December 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6872
  1. Andy Cowper, editor
  1. Health Policy Insight, London, UK
  1. andycowper{at}

Andy Cowper gives an overview of the parties’ manifesto pledges on health and social care

Just as the UK has more than one NHS, there are more than three parties with sizeable followings competing for votes in this year’s general election. So, as well as looking at what is said about health and healthcare in the manifestos of the Conservative Party, the Labour Party, and the Liberal Democrats,12 here we examine those of the Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru, the Democratic Unionist Party, and the Green Party.

Scottish National Party

Unsurprisingly, the SNP is a big fan of the Barnett formula, which determines levels of public funding in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, providing Scotland with higher levels per head of population than England.3 The party’s manifesto says, “The SNP Scottish Government has delivered record levels of funding for the NHS in Scotland, up 6% in real-terms over the last decade . . . As a result, frontline health spending per head in Scotland is £136 per person (6.3%) higher than in England.”4

Equally unsurprisingly, the SNP doesn’t explain that this uplift …

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