The Conservative Party election manifesto pledges a minimum of £8bn extra funding for the NHS over the next five years and seven-day GP access across England by 2019 – one year earlier than its 2015 promise.
It also states that if re-elected, the Tories would recover the cost of treatment from people not resident in the UK by increasing the Immigration Health Surcharge.
The new fees would be £600 for migrant workers and £450 for international students.
At the same time, the party promises to ensure that the 140,000 NHS staff from EU countries can stay and work in the health service.
The plans (see below for full details) also state that the Tories would make it easier for health services to better integrate within themselves by removing red-tape barriers.
The manifesto says: ‘We expect GPs to come together to provide greater access, more innovative services, share data and offer better facilities, while ensuring care remains personal – particularly for older and more vulnerable people – with named GPs accountable for individual patients.’
It says that the Tories will ‘support GPs to deliver innovative services that better meet patients’ needs’, which will include phone and online consultations and ‘the use of technology to triage people better so they see the right clinician more quickly’.
The manifesto adds: ‘We will ensure appropriate funding for GPs to meet rising costs of indemnity in the short term while working with the profession to introduce a sustainable long-term solution.’
The Conservative manifesto pledges to:
- Increase NHS spending by a minimum of £8bn over the next five years, with an increase in funding per patient every year
- Ensure 140,000 NHS staff from EU countries can stay and work in the health service
- Continue to increase the number of students in medical school by 1,500 per year
- Upgrade primary care facilities, mental health clinics and hospital across England
- Recover the cost of treatment from people not resident in the UK by increasing the Immigration Health Surcharge to £600 for migrant workers and £450 for international students
- Implement the recommendations of the Accelerated Access Review so that patients get new drugs and treatments faster
- Remove non-legislative barriers allowing providers to integrate care more easily
- Ensure GPs are funded to meet the rising costs of indemnity
- Introduce a new GP contract to ‘help develop wider primary care services’
- Reform the ‘outdated’ regulation system for healthcare professionals
- Work with medical schools to develop new roles and career paths in the NHS workforce
- Give NHS staff greater access to mental health services and flexible working hours
- Take action against abuse of NHS staff
- Increase the number of NHS approved apps to help clinicians monitor care better
- Expand the use of personal budgets
- Provide weekend access to some diagnostic tests in hospitals
- Retain the 95% A&E target to admit or discharge patients within four hours
- Expand the remit of the CQC to cover health-related services provided by local authorities
- Give cancer patients a definitive diagnosis within 28 days by 2020
- Recruit up to 10,000 more mental health professionals