Health and social care election tracker
How are health and care issues shaping the political landscape as we head towards the 2017 general election?
Greens commit to free prescriptions
Caroline Lucas, co-leader of the Green Party, promises free prescription medicines for people of all ages. The Party estimates the move would cost around £550 million a year, which it says would be offset by savings from halting the NHS’s internal market.
In England, people aged 17 to 59 currently pay £8.60 per prescription item. Exemptions, eg for hospital inpatients, people with long-term conditions and those in full-time education, mean only a relatively small proportion of items are paid for. In 2015, 89.7 per cent of items were dispensed for free.
Green Party manifesto pledges to scrap all charges for NHS services
The Greens launch their manifesto with a commitment to making all health and dental services free at the point of use.
On funding, they promise to ‘close the NHS spending gap’ and provide ‘major investment’ in social care, as well as bringing both services together into a single budget.
They also pledge to scrap sustainability and transformation plans and ‘roll back privatisation of the NHS’.
On mental health, the Greens promise to ensure people experiencing mental health crises are treated close to their home.
Greens announce mental health pledges
The Greens announce three pledges aimed at improving the way we approach mental health.
They want to give mental health parity of esteem with physical health; ensure access to psychological therapy within 28 days of being referred; and introduce a new schools-based therapy to address mental health issues earlier.
Greens pledge ‘walking and cycling revolution’
The Greens propose investing £2 billion in cycle lanes and walking routes.
Their announcement focuses on the environment, but improvements to non-motorised transport are also widely seen as important for public health.