Health and social care election tracker
How are health and care issues shaping the political landscape as we head towards the 2017 general election?
Theresa May reverses manifesto position on capping care costs
Just four days after launching her party’s manifesto, Theresa May announces that a future Conservative government would introduce an ‘absolute limit’ on people’s liability for care costs.
The unprecedented move follows heavy criticism of the proposals unveiled in the Conservative manifesto, which did not mention a cap on care costs – originally proposed by the Dilnot Commission and included in the Conservatives’ 2015 manifesto – arguing that this would mainly be of benefit to a small number of wealthier people.
The Prime Minister denies a U-turn on the original policy, explaining that the cap would be included in a proposed Green Paper on social care. Asked what level the cap would be set at, Ms May states that this will be a matter for consultation.
May backs £10 billion capital investment for NHS
Speaking in a BBC interview, Theresa May commits to £10 billion in capital investment to fund the Conservatives’ manifesto pledge to deliver ‘the most ambitious programme of investment in buildings and technology the NHS has ever seen’.
May adds that her Party is ‘backing the proposals in the Naylor report’ – a reference to Sir Robert Naylor’s review of NHS property and estates, published in April. The review identified a capital funding requirement of £10 billion to deliver the service changes set out in the NHS five year forward view and upgrade maintain NHS buildings.
The £10 billion of capital investment is separate from the manifesto pledge to increase NHS spending by a minimum of £8 billion in real terms over the next five years. It is not clear how much of it would be additional public funding – the Naylor review indicated that much of the investment could would come from property sales and private capital, as well as the public purse.
Conservatives call for Mental Health Act to be replaced
The Conservatives announce proposals to replace the Mental Health Act 1983.
They want to end ‘unnecessary detention’ of people with mental health problems, and to give new rights to employees who experience mental health issues.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt tells The Andrew Marr Show: ‘We want to stop the fact that you can lose your job for that and suffer discrimination in a way that you would not be able to suffer now if you were disabled, [or had] other conditions.’
This follows Theresa May’s first speech on domestic policy earlier this year, when she said she wants to ‘transform the way we deal with mental health problems right across society’.