David Cameron has given a speech today to launch the Conservative Party's health manifesto.
Over three years ago Cameron spelled out his priorities in three letters – NHS. Since then, conservatives have consistently fought to protect the values the NHS stands for and have campaigned to defend the NHS from Labour’s cuts and reorganisations.
As the party of the NHS, conservatives say they will never change the idea at the heart of the NHS – that healthcare in this country is free at the point of use and available to everyone based on need, not ability to pay. Labour promised to save the NHS but today, despite the massive increase in spending, the gap in health outcomes between the UK and the rest of Europe has actually widened.
A decade of top-down, bureaucratic mismanagement has consistently undermined the professionalism and motivation of NHS staff and skewed NHS priorities away from patient care, creating a culture where ticking boxes is more important than giving patients the treatment they need. We can’t go on with an NHS that puts targets before patients.
The Conservatives say that they understand the pressures the NHS faces. In recognition of its special place in our society, they are committed to protecting health spending in real terms – they will not make the sick pay for Labour’s Debt Crisis. But that doesn’t mean the NHS shouldn’t change. When you are more likely to die of cancer in Britain than most other countries in Europe – and when the number of managers in the NHS is rising almost three times as fast as the number of nurses –
The Conservatives Party have a reform plan to make the changes the NHS needs. The reform plan, is detailed in a Draft Manifesto published today, is based on the methods of the post-bureaucratic age – decentralisation, accountability and transparency.
Click here to read the Draft Manifesto