Underfunding of the NHS by the Conservatives has put our health services in a precarious position. Doctors and nurses don’t have the resources they need to offer patients the time they would like to.
Boris Johnson’s offer to the NHS has fallen far short – with the IFS saying it won’t restore waiting times or deliver better services. And locally, our A&E has only been given a stay of execution despite what residents have been told – underlying issues remain unresolved. The Conservative MP here was elected on a promise of restoring a 24/7 A&E service, but that simply hasn’t happened and we’re moving in the opposite direction.
Max Wilkinson has been working hard in Cheltenham to protect our health services. He rallied thousands of signatures to petition to save Cheltenham’s A&E and spent hours questioning the local NHS trust in meetings and in Committees.
As Liberal Democrat MP for Cheltenham, Max would demand better for our town's NHS.
The Liberal Democrats are the only party with a real plan for properly protecting NHS services in Cheltenham and our country. As MP for our town, Max would campaign to put a penny in the pound on income tax to make up the funding shortfall in our health services - a total investment of £35billion over 5 years. Importantly, the Liberal Democrats would ensure that some of this extra money is used to transform mental health services, with a commitment to treat mental health with the same urgency as physical health
Protecting the NHS is one of Max's top priorities. Stopping Brexit is an essential part of that, as it would end the risk to the NHS from a Trump trade deal.
Other key Liberal Democrat proposals for the health and social care include:
- Reforming the Health and Social Care Act as recommended by the NHS, to make the NHS work in a more efficient and joined-up way, and to end the automatic tendering of services.
- Ending the GP shortfall by 2025 by both training more GPs and making greater appropriate use of nurses, physiotherapists and pharmacists, and also phone or video appointments, where clinically suitable.
- Introducing a statutory guarantee of regular respite breaks for unpaid carers, alongside a package of carer benefits such as free leisure centre access, free bus travel for young carers.
- Publishing a National Wellbeing Strategy, which puts better health and wellbeing for all at the heart of government, and pursuing a Health in All Policies approach, as recommended by the World Health Organization, for a healthier country.
- Developing a strategy to tackle childhood obesity including restricting the marketing of junk food to children, and closing loopholes in the Soft Drinks Industry Levy. We will extend it to include juice- and milk-based drinks that are high in added sugar.