The three main parties are offering different visions of what the public can expect from the NHS Health Foundation analysis of NHS and social care funding pledges for the General Election 2019

29 November 2019

The Health Foundation has today published two charts that show how the three main parties’ funding pledges for the NHS and social care measure up against our projections of need*.

Commenting on the analysis, Anita Charlesworth, Director of Research and Economics at the Health Foundation, said:

'We have analysed the funding that the three main parties have pledged for the NHS against what is needed to either maintain current standards of care in the face of rising demand or improve services as outlined in the long-term plan for the health service.

Looking at their pledges side by side, the three main parties are clearly offering different visions in terms of what the public can expect from the NHS over the coming parliament. Labour has promised a £25bn uplift to the health care budget by 2023/24, slightly above the funding needed to deliver improved services for patients. Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats £22bn uplift would see current standards maintained, while allowing for some improvements. The Conservatives have pledged £18bn extra by the end of the parliament, which is below the amount needed to maintain current standards of care.'

Proposed change in health spending from three main political parties by 2023/24

'For social care, there is a similar level of variation. All three parties have pledged some funding towards addressing the current crisis in social care and preventing further deterioration of services, over and above current plans for 2023/24. However, none have pledged enough to meet growing levels of demand and improve pay for social care staff. While all the parties have agreed in principle that there is an urgent need to reform social care to address the fundamental unfairness of the current system, only Labour has set out any concrete proposals for reform, pledging free personal care. But our calculations show that none of the parties have pledged enough funding to restore levels of access to 2010/11 levels, prior to cuts to services.'

Proposed change in adult social care spending power pledged by three main political parties by 2023/24

Notes to editors

*The Health Foundation has calculated that:

  • the health service will need at least £20bn of additional funding by 2023/24 to meet rising demand pressures and maintain current standards of care (average increases of 3.4% per year). At least £24bn is needed to improve care in line with the NHS’s long term plan (average increases of 4.1% per year).
  • stabilising the current social care system by addressing demand pressures and increasing staff pay in line with the NHS would cost £4.7bn by 2023/24, compared to the current projected baseline budget. Restoring access to 2010/11 levels of service would require around £8.1bn extra investment by 2023/24 on top of this (£12.8bn in total).

Media contact

Simon Perry
020 7257 2093

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