Today we released our Agenda for the next government, which sets out the five priorities we believe the next government must work towards to help people with long-term conditions following the General Election on 8th June. We also outline why these issues are so important, and our calls to action for tackling them.
In England, there are at least 15 million people living with a long term health problem, more than 1 in 4 of our entire population, and they need and deserve good quality health and care.
The 15 million people we represent are the core user group of health services and major users of social care: only when these services get it right for this group, can they be said to be serving their proper purpose.
Our priorities for the next government
We believe that to help people with long term conditions the next Government must ensure:
1. Timely access to high quality health and social care for those who need it, when they need it, without undue delays that can leave people anxious and in pain
Our call: Equal access to evidence-based treatments and good information and support, for all who need them, without variation by postcode or other non-clinical criteria.
2. Increased funding across the whole health and social care system to support people right now, and to build more sustainable models of care that work better for people with long term needs
The overall funding envelope for the health and care system needs to increase.
Sustainable social care funding needs to be resolved as an urgent priority, moving away from piecemeal and short term approaches.
3. Sufficient numbers of health and care staff to ensure they can give the compassionate and dignified care everyone deserves
Our call: Strong and urgent leadership is required to address increasing workforce and training shortages, which might be exacerbated by the UK decision to leave the EU.
4. Effective coordination of services, staff and data across all parts of the NHS, social care and non-medical and community support
Commissioners need to work with community groups and patients to develop approaches that work for people.
The NHS’ ambition, through the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) process, to better join up services in a place, needs support from political leaders if it is to deliver new ways of working and coordinated support for individuals.
There needs to be better collection and use of data to improve the health and wellbeing of people who use health and care services.
5. Stronger emphasis on and investment in public health approaches and prevention
Commit to robust implementation and monitoring of the “prevention” duty under the Care Act 2014.
Reverse the £200 million funding cuts to public health services that were imposed in 2015/16.
Develop and implement an urgent plan to tackle obesity, inactivity, alcohol consumption, and smoking.