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Green Party manifesto: Increase nurse salaries and invest in ‘crumbling’ practice premises

Green Party manifesto: Increase nurse salaries and invest in ‘crumbling’ practice premises
Image: Green Party Press

The Green Party has formally launched their manifesto, committing to increase nurse salaries and invest in ‘crumbling’ primary care buildings and ‘outdated equipment’.

The launch follows a manifesto preview last week where the party announced that it would increase spending on health and social care, rising to over £50 billion per year by 2030. 

This commitment sits alongside an additional £20 billion capital investment pledge to bring healthcare premises and equipment ‘up to modern standards’.

If elected, the party has also promised to increase NHS frontline workers’ salaries, including nurses, doctors and dentists. 

Pledges from the party include a year-on-year reduction in waiting lists, guaranteed access to an NHS dentist and guaranteed rapid access to a GP and same day access in case of urgent need.

‘Smoking cessation, drug and alcohol treatment and sexual health services all need to be properly funded,’ says the document, which also proposes increased funding for mental health care, widening access to HIV prevention medication, and legislation to allow assisted dying for people suffering from terminal disease with appropriate safeguards.

Commenting at the manifesto launch, Green Party co-leader, Adrian Ramsay, said: ‘Our NHS is at breaking point following 14 years of underfunding. Patients are stuck in hospital corridors, people can’t see their GP or NHS dentist when they need to and staff are severely overstretched. 

‘Greens believe passionately in the NHS and we are the only party to be honest with the public that it’s going to cost money to nurse the NHS back to health after 14 years of Conservative damage.

‘Not just by shifting a small pot around, but by asking the very richest in our society to pay a modest amount more in tax to fund the investment we need to nurse the NHS back to health.’

Responding to the manifesto, RCN acting general secretary and chief executive, Professor Nicola Ranger, described pledges to boost pay as ‘positive’ but warned that the money in the plans ‘didn’t appear sufficient’ to deliver a ‘substantial above inflation pay rise’ for nurses.

She added: ‘Abolishing tuition fees and restoring grants for students are vital to nurse recruitment. Providing financial support and incentives can turn the tide on a nursing workforce crisis and a Long Term Workforce Plan way off target.​

‘It’s encouraging to see pledges that address other critical issues facing the nursing profession, including the national scandal of exploitation of migrant care staff across social care, nursing staff will also welcome a commitment to repeal anti-trade union laws.

‘Services delivered in the community desperately need investment to end the national emergency in our hospitals, but more will be needed to ensure a long term and sustainable funding approach to social care, not just more quick fixes.

‘Improving care workers’ pay, as laid out in the manifesto, can help with the cost of living and ease widespread workforce shortages across the sector.’

Nursing in Practice is publishing news of the manifesto commitments for nursing from all major parties ahead of the general election.

See here, to read the manifesto in full.

 

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