Health and social care election tracker
How are health and care issues shaping the political landscape as we head towards the 2017 general election?
Conservatives move to form government with support of DUP
After falling short of an overall majority, Theresa May moves to form a government with the support of the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland.
With one seat still to declare, the Conservatives win 318 seats, 8 seats short of an overall majority; Labour have 261 MPs, up 29 from the last election. The Liberal Democrats have 12 seats, an increase of 4.
UKIP leader Paul Nuttall resigns.
Parties’ health spokespeople make pitches on Today programme
Each of the main parties’ health spokespeople are given 30 seconds to set out their plans for the NHS on Radio 4’s Today programme.
The Conservatives’ Jeremy Hunt argues that investment in public services depends on a strong economy and that Theresa May is best placed to negotiate a good Brexit deal that would allow the government to increase NHS spending.
Labour’s Jonathan Ashworth pledges a front-loaded spending increase, a pause in sustainability and transformation plans to allow public engagement, and to repeal the Health and Social Care Act 2012.
Norman Lamb says the Lib Dems would increase health spending by £6 billion a year funded by a 1 per cent rise in income tax; subsequently they would introduce a dedicated health and care tax informed by the recommendations of a new Office for Budget Responsibility-style organisation for health.
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.
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.
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’.