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13
Nov

NHS Providers launches its 2019 election manifesto


NHS Providers has launched its programme of activity for the 2019 general election by calling on political parties to ensure the NHS has what it needs to build a 21st century health service.

The future government must ensure the NHS has people with the right skills and in the right places equipped with the modern facilities and technologies that they need to deliver high-quality, safe care.


To build an NHS for the 21st century, NHS Providers says Trusts and Foundation Trusts need to see:

 

• Investment in people, including funding to train thousands more people to ensure they have the skills needed to meet current and future demand. This training must be supported by a focus on culture to make the NHS a great place to work and a flexible immigration system that ensures the service can continue to recruit the staff that local services need.

 

• An urgent upgrade for the NHS estate, equipment and technological capability, including a comprehensive capital investment programme bringing levels up to those in comparable countries and an achievable digital strategy that supports the NHS to improve how it delivers care.

 

• Locally-led services to improve care and support for patients and service users, with greater collaboration between health and social care organisations in local communities and by ensuring balance between local decision-making and central support.

 

• Whole system investment, with any future government ensuring sufficient funding for public health and prevention services and a long-term settlement for social care.

 

The Deputy Chief Executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery says: "The NHS is going to be front and centre of this election campaign. We need to ensure that the debate is open, frank and honest about the challenges facing the health service and what it needs to meet the growing demands asked of it. It does not help the frontline when the NHS is used as a political weapon.


"The biggest constraint facing the health service is our workforce shortages. We need credible answers on how to close a workforce vacancy gap of more than 100,000 and to ensure any new immigration system enables the NHS and social care services to recruit and retain the overseas staff on whom we will have to rely for the foreseeable future.

"Meanwhile the backlog maintenance bill across the NHS has climbed to record levels. While recent government announcements for new hospitals and investment in cancer equipment have been very welcome, they are only a start of what is required to rebuild our health services and make them fit for the 21st century. We need to see a multi-year capital settlement that brings the NHS' capital budget in line with comparable economies.

"Finally, we cannot delay in addressing the crisis in adult social care, or we risk devaluing every pound of investment in the NHS. There is broad consensus that we need to increase social care funding and create a fair and accessible system which protects the most vulnerable. But we need an honest debate about how we pay for and deliver this."

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