The Conservative manifesto does not address Britain’s healthcare crisis.
The Conservatives have been in power for the last seven years, yet this manifesto will do nothing to reassure patients and NHS staff that they have the vision the NHS needs or will deliver the funding to ensure its survival.
The extra £8bn touted in this manifesto for the NHS is smoke and mirrors – rather than extra money, this essentially extends the funding already promised in the 2015 spending review for another two years and falls far short of what is needed. The NHS is already at breaking point, and without the necessary investment patients will face longer delays, care will be compromised and services will struggle to keep up.
Providing additional care across the week requires not just more funding, but more doctors, nurses, diagnostic and community care staff, otherwise exiting staff will be stretched even more thinly than they already are.
It is encouraging to see that the party will seek assurances for EU staff working in the NHS as part of Brexit negotiations, but the emphasis on training future doctors in the UK will not solve the current workforce crisis. Any future government must address the reasons why so many UK-trained doctors are considering leaving the NHS rather than forcing doctors to stay in the health service. Demotivated, burnt-out doctors who don’t want to be in their jobs, will not be good for patients.