The Liberal Democrats have called for an extra £4bn funding in this week’s Budget for the NHS and Social Care services to tackle the crisis emerging across the country.
Cuts to local government have hit social care badly, with more than a million older people having un-met care needs and thousands stuck in hospital for days after their treatment has finished because the care they need once they return home is not available.
Alongside this, the NHS has seen rising demand for treatment and needs more funding to deliver vital improvements such as achieving equality of access to timely treatment for those with mental ill health, and digitising the NHS to improve care and to make the system more efficient.
The Liberal Democrats believe we need a long term solution for funding Health and Social Care which will include raising additional revenue for these vital services from taxation.
The party had established an independent expert panel who will make evidence based recommendations on how this can be delivered in the fairest way.
Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron said:
“People across the country know the cost of underfunded health and social care services. It is the longer waiting lists and the trolleys in hospital corridors. It is the shorter care visits and the loved ones stranded in hospital because their local authority hasn’t got the resource to provide the care they need.
“The Government cannot continue to avoid this issue. More money is needed for NHS and care and only the Liberal Democrats are being upfront with people about the tough decisions that need to be taken and that will include fair tax rises.
“This looks like it will only get worse, with Theresa May’s reckless dealings with Europe hitting our economy, meaning even less resources will be available. The Government needs to face facts - you can’t have a strong NHS and care service with a hard Brexit.”
Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary Norman Lamb said:
“It is time for a new deal for our NHS and care services.
“Anyone using the NHS and care services knows they need more money and that is what the Liberal Democrats will deliver. We will set out a long term plan for funding, which will include fair tax rises. However we also know that services are at crisis point. Patients can’t wait any longer. That is why the government must put in this upfront investment without delay.
“Patients and their families are fed up with politicians sidestepping the difficult questions when it comes to improving the NHS and social care services. I am determined to set out a bold, new deal and a vision that will safeguard Britain’s health and social care services for generations to come”.
Notes to Editors
Liberal Democrats are calling for an injection of £4 billion extra funding for 2017-18 and that it should be delivered as follows, to ensure it has maximum impact and reaches those services where it is needed most:
£2bn additional funding for social care
£1.5bn additional transformation funding, to deliver modernisation and improve efficiency in the NHS
£500m additional dedicated funding for mental health