What do health workers want from this election?
Health and social care continues to dominate the election. Party manifestos have been published promising more funding, more services and more staff.
As you might expect, a detailed look at these pledges poses more questions than answers. And we believe more needs to be asked of candidates to explain their plans for the future of our NHS and social care system.
Whoever wins in May, there’s likely to be significant changes to come. We believe that success hinges on the successful engagement and empowerment of the workforce.
Everyone including frontline nursing and clinical staff, the health professionals providing therapy, scientific and technical support and the administrative and management staff who hold it all together need to have their voice heard.
So what does the NHS workforce want?
The best way to find out is to see what the unions representing NHS staff are asking the parties. Follow the links below to find out about their key asks and use their tools to contact your own candidates and hold them to account.
Society of Radiographers
The SoR have published a Manifesto for Tomorrow’s NHS for Diagnostic Imaging and Radiotherapy Services and have posed 10 key questions that their members will be asking candidates.
The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
Royal College of Nursing
The Nursing Counts manifesto sets out the RCN’s asks under the headings of ‘improving patient care’, ‘valuing nursing’ and ‘investing in health and social care’. They have developed an on-line tool to ask candidates to support the Nursing Counts manifesto and make valuing nursing a priority in the next parliament.
British Medical Association
The BMA’s Election Guide 2015 features a number of General Election Briefings on key issues, including funding, outsourcing and public health. They too have developed an on-line tool that enables members to send briefings directly to parliamentary candidates. And they are organising a number of hustings around the country, so keep your eye out.
UNISON’s Securing the Future of our Public Services manifesto sets out its policy asks on health and social care, calling for repeal of the Health and Social Care Act, reinstating the NHS as preferred provider and securing sustainable funding and pay for NHS workers. UNISON has also created NHS election materials, which clearly reflects its campaigning support for Labour as a union affiliated to the party.
Unite’s NHS election materials also reflect their affiliation to the Labour Party and form part of their broader NHS campaign against privatisation, austerity and attacks on pay and conditions for NHS workers.
People’s Vote for the NHS
The People’s Vote for the NHS is a broad campaign, supported by some health unions such as the GMB and Unite, calling on candidates of all parties to support their five key pledges for the NHS, including the repeal of the Health and Social Care Act, ending the NHS funding squeeze, renegotiation of PFI debts and fair pay for NHS workers.
Royal College of Midwives
The RCM have also developed an on-line tool to contact candidates and ask them three questions concerning midwife numbers, support for maternal mental health services and respect for the NHS Pay Review Body and fair pay for midwives. RCM are sending this manifesto to candidates from all the mainstream parties.