With the election less than 24 hours away, we wanted to look at some of the policies that have predicated the news. From the Conservatives plans to remove free school meals to Labour’s plans to abolish University fees for students within England, the election will bring key discussion topics to the forefront. At OLM, our main focus is making life easier for everyone involved in health and social care and therefore we will look at the these election policies now.
Each of the main parties will look to increase spending within the NHS. The exact amount varies per party:
Conservatives: Will pledge to increase spending within the NHS England budget by £8billion when compared to the current level
Labour: Will commit to spending more than £30 billion in extra funding for the NHS over the next five years
Lib Dems: Will add 1p onto each rate of income tax and ring-fence money for the NHS and social care
What does this mean? Practically speaking, the public spending that the Conservatives are committing to could bring an extra £40 billion to the NHS by 2022/23. However, the terminology used here says, ‘by 2022/23’, which removes the guarantee of an increase per year. The money would, therefore, be expected to fluctuate and may not match the £30 billion that has been pledged by the Labour Party. The funding here has been given a definitive denomination and the minimum that the NHS in England will receive is £30 billion. On the other hand, the Liberal Democrats will look to add 1p onto each rate of income tax and ring-fence the money for NHS and social care. This will bring in an estimated £6 billion-a-year for the NHS and social care but more importantly it will match the £30 billion promise that Labour has made. While Labour will fund it from a tax on the highest earners, the Lib Dems will put 1p on income tax for everyone.
Within these impressive amounts, we see a disparity between Labour and the Liberal Democrats, when compared to that which has been allocated by the Conservatives.
What does this mean in terms of specific allocations within social care?
One of the central points within Labour’s health pledges is that they will lay the foundations for a National Care service and put an extra £8 billion into Social Care over the next five years. Following the initial investment, a £3 billion a year National Care Service would be created, which would form the cornerstone of their social care policy. This would include shared requirements for single commissioning, partnership arrangements, pooled budgets and joint-working arrangements within the NHS.
As we have outlined within previous articles, joint working is a key component within 21st century working and to focus the NHS around this would be of huge benefit. Technology is a key component of joined up working.
The Conservative party has chosen to focus their social care policies on the paying of care. Under the Conservative’s manifesto, the value of a family home will be taken into consideration for people receiving social care at their home. The cost of such care will also be capped (although the full details of the cap will only be announced after the elections) and people will be able to keep £100,000 of their assets once the final care bill has been paid. Deferral of care bills will be permitted until after death to ensure that no-one is forced to sell their family home. Keeping an increased amount from any estate is what has been called for, for years, with the current threshold of £23,000 proving to be far too restrictive.
The Liberal Democrats has decided to prioritise mental health care within their social care manifesto. With one in four people suffering from a mental health problem within their lifetime and the cost to the NHS reaching more than £20 billion per year, you can see why they have chosen to focus on this issue.
Technology underpins change
Whichever party the nation choose to vote for tomorrow, we are ready with:
Strong and stable software
Solutions for the many, not the few (enabling collaboration with between agencies, providers, citizen and their families)
Services that will Change Britain’s future such as our 3C’s model
To underpin the changes that need to take place over the next five years (such as a social care cap) you need a Platform.
We are ready with citizen facing engagement solutions like MyLife and modern finance solutions to enable effective person-centred finance management with the right functionality such as deferred payment agreements.
We are ready to support mental health. We have worked with a number of organisations such as Resolve Care and Insight Behavioural Service Ltd to ensure that their case management systems can support effective mental health. Our Eclipse solution provides intelligent, intuitive multi-agency case management that makes recording easy for Health and Social Care professionals.
At OLM, we are dedicated to the future of health and social care and created our Platform for Care with the next ten years in mind. Our technology is built with a responsive base and designed using the latest APIs, from an open source base.
Happy voting! Remember every vote counts