latest health care news

04.05.17

RCP calls on politicians to invest in NHS post-Brexit

A four-point plan to keep patient care at the forefront of the political debate in anticipation of the UK’s snap election on 8 June has been released by a major health group.

The manifesto, ‘Keeping patients at the heart of the NHS’, drawn up by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), states four key points that politicians of all parties should bear in mind as they prepare to draw up the policies that they hope will see them elected in a month’s time.

The key points raised by the RCP include placing patients at the centre of Brexit negotiations, as well as investing in, supporting and valuing the NHS workforce.

The royal college has also called on the new government to deliver a new financial settlement for the NHS and social care, as well as greater investment for public health through supporting people to live healthier lives.

“Our health service offers some of the highest-quality, most efficient and most accessible healthcare in the world,” said the report.

“There are, however, significant challenges facing the NHS and our ability to care for the nation. Increasing workloads, staff shortages, lack of time for training, and the recent negotiations over the junior doctor contract are all concerning for the delivery of patient care, today and in the future.”

RCP president Professor Jane Dacre added that with each new government comes a new opportunity to ensure the NHS has enough resources, people and services to provide excellent care.

“Patients must be at the centre of decisions made on healthcare provision, and that includes serious consideration of the implications of Brexit on patient care,” she concluded.

Today’s news comes after a number of other health organisations making similar announcements in the last few days.

Just yesterday, for example, NHS Confederation’s Mental Health Network set out a plan for the next government to commit to ambitions laid out in the Five Year Forward View to improve mental health care for patients.

And the RCGP also said that the major issues the NHS is facing could not be eclipsed by Brexit, as it called on politicians to pledge to fix the UK’s ailing health service.

In the run-up to the election, opposition party Labour has also made a number of bold claims for how the NHS will be fixed.

This week, shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth promised to halt the proposed closure of A&Es and have a moratorium on the “chaotic” STP programme.

And before that, Labour had also promised to raise wages for NHS staff by axing the 1% wage cap that had resulted in a real-terms pay drop over the past 12 years.

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