10 signatures reached
To: All political parties fielding candidates in the 2015 UK General Election
Clarify your future commitment to NHS and social care funding
Dear Madam or Sir
Since the global recession of 2009, the NHS budget has been cut by £20bn. Last year NHS England launched a 'call to action' to stimulate an 'honest and realistic' debate about the NHS funding gap, which despite the cuts already made is forecast to grow to £30bn by 2020. With less than 9 months to go until the next General Election, your party has still not stated whether it will meet this funding gap through additional expenditure or alternatively specified which services it will cut.
Why is this important?
In 2010, the formation of a coalition government robbed the British people of the opportunity to elect a government on the basis of the health policies they proposed. This time, with the NHS facing the biggest financial challenge since its creation, it's vital that people know what they're voting for.
Within health and social care services the last 5 years have seen huge disruptions. Despite this there is broad consensus that the level of care and treatment has been largely protected. In the life of the next parliament this will not be possible without substantial new money. So far the main political parties have remained silent on how they will find it, or if they do not, where the axe will fall.
There is a terrible risk that political parties of all persuasions will want to hide this 'bad news' because of the electoral risk that taking an honest position would present. Many clearly believe privately that there will be no new money, but will not risk the wrath of the public by saying so. This removes the possibility of a real public debate about the future of publicly funded health and social care services, surely vital in any democracy. We need the debate, we have the right to decide together and to elect a party that will act on our mandate.