Election offers the chance of a ‘New Deal’ for the NHS

Responding to the Government’s announcement of a general election on 8 June 2017, Dr Liam Brennan, President of the Royal College of Anaesthetists said:

“As party manifestos are being written we are calling for a ‘New Deal’ for the NHS, through which all parts of the health and social care systems can be appropriately resourced, effectively integrated and sustainably delivered, in the best interests of patients. Vital components of this ambition include ensuring that the NHS retains its ability to draw-upon the talents of non-UK staff, and that the well-being of all staff currently working in the NHS is given top priority.

“A safe, well-funded, well-resourced NHS, staffed and managed by highly skilled and enthusiastic professionals is central to the lives of every single person living in the UK – this is why strengthening and protecting the NHS should be a key issue in this election.

“It is inevitable that Brexit will be a focal point of every party’s campaign, but it cannot be the single issue when our nation’s health and social care system is under such incredible strain. This is significant as the NHS is currently being forced to retreat from commitments on waiting times with some patients unable to access the services they need, when they need them.

“There is broad recognition across the health and social care community of the need to improve the integration of public health and primary care, hospital services and social care. Welcome changes which have been gathering momentum must not be derailed by political processes.

“This election provides an opportunity to reaffirm a national commitment to free healthcare at point of delivery for all. I urge politicians from all parties to listen to medical professionals and work with us to safeguard the NHS for future generations.”

19 April 2017

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