Summary of the party political manifestos

10 Downing Street

16 / 4 / 2015 2.30pm

Dear Colleague,

The political parties have this week announced their manifesto commitments for the NHS. I thought you would find it helpful to have a summary of the three main parties’ proposals on the key issues relating to health and care, including workforce; prevention and wellbeing, and primary care.

The summary document, published by colleagues in NHS Confederation for their members, contains analysis on what the parties’ proposals mean to the NHS, where progress has been made and where more needs to be done.

The three main parties’ priorities for the NHS and the wider workforce are of particular interest and some highlights of these are below:


  • Continue to ensure that we have enough doctors, nurses and other staff to meet patients’ needs.
  • Consider how best to recognise and reward high performance.
  • Hospitals properly staffed, so that the quality of care is the same every day of the week.
  • Tackle the disproportionate impact of strikes in essential public services.
  • 3 million new apprenticeships.
  • Give public sector workers a workplace entitlement to volunteering leave for three days a year on full pay.
  • No income tax for those working 30 hours on the minimum wage.
  • Increase minimum wage to £6.70 this autumn.


  • Recruit 20,000 new nurses, 8,000 new GPs, 3,000 new midwives and 5,000 new care workers by 2020.
  • Increase the number of training places, with 10,000 more nurses trained in the next parliament.
  • Develop new targeted apprenticeships and improve retention.
  • Recommit to the Pay Review Body process, and respect the views of the independent Pay Review Bodies.
  • Create an NHS staff champion to improve health and wellbeing.
  • No increase to NI.
  • Raise minimum wage to more than £8 per hour by 2019.
  • Guarantee every school leaver that gets the grades an apprenticeship.
  • Right to a regular contract for those who work more than 12 weeks.

Liberal Democrats:

  • Encourage GPs and other community clinicians to work in disadvantaged areas through the Patient Premium.
  • Ensure all frontline public service professionals have training in mental health.
  • Introduce mandatory arbitration for strikes likely to cause widespread public disruption.
  • Increase the personal tax allowance to a minimum of £12,500.
  • Expand shared parental leave with a ‘use it or lose it’ month for fathers.
  • Consider raising the employee NI threshold to income tax threshold.
  • Consult on allowing employees on zero-hours contracts to request a fixed contract

The other parties’ policies are available on the NHS Confederation website, as well as a response to the manifestos from Rob Webster, which was issued today in a media statement.

The NHS Confederation has been working with all major parties on their manifesto development as part of our 2015 Challenge work. This work has had a positive impact on the political parties’ thinking but there is, of course, more to do.

The NHS Confederation will work with whoever forms the next Government to ensure that local leaders and employers are enabled and supported to work with their local communities to transform care, and that action is taken to ensure services remain sustainable. I will be sure to keep you updated on this work.

One of the first opportunities you will have to hear from the new Government will of course be the NHS Confederation annual conference and exhibition on 3 to 5 June in Liverpool.

For the first time, we will be holding a dedicated event for HR and workforce directors on the Wednesday morning. For £269 you will be able to spend the whole day with us, starting in the morning with the opportunity to discuss workforce priorities with people like HEE chief executive Ian Cumming and senior workforce leaders from the Department of Health. You can then join the main conference on Wednesday afternoon, where you can attend sessions on topics such as maximising value to tackle the financial challenge, transforming organisational performance, and developing your future workforce.

For those of you arriving on the Tuesday evening, there will be a networking reception where colleagues from the military reservists will be explaining some of their recent experiences dealing with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

You can find out more and book your place via our online booking pages and I look forward to seeing you there.

I hope that you find this summary useful, please feel to send any comments or feedback you may have by contacting me at

Best wishes

Daniel Mortimer

Chief Executive, NHS Employers


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