Vote for a £35.1 billion NHS boost with parity between mental and physical health.
- The Liberal Democrats will put 1p on income tax from April 2020, with the revenue ring-fenced for the NHS and social care.
- This is forecast to raise £35.1 billion over the next five years, Liberal Democrats will ring-fence £11.2 billion of that money for mental health services, over 30% of the money raised.
The NHS is the envy of the world, but our mental health service is not. Waiting times are being missed, people are not being referred for the treatment they need, and often action is taken only when at ‘crisis’ point, or too late.
Approximately one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. For too many, treatment is a postcode lottery; with waiting times for psychological therapy varying from 16 days in Waltham Forest, to 176 days in Leicester.
One in 10 consultant psychiatric roles are unfilled, and people with severe mental illness die on average 15-20 years earlier than the rest of the general population. Urgent action is needed to provide people with the support they need and comparative care to if they were suffering from a severe physical illness.
Liberal Democrats will give the NHS and social care services the necessary funding by putting a penny in the pound on income tax. Ring-fencing funding for mental health will give a cash injection of £11bn fund over the next Parliament putting more investment into services such as:
- child and adolescent mental health,
- matching waiting time standards to those in physical health, and
- expanding our mental health workforce
Making mental health services accessible to all is fundamental, and no one should be forced to travel unreasonable distances away from home. By prioritising young people coming out of care, and supporting students from school through to colleges and universities, it is possible to ensure that no one will have to travel out of the area for all but the most specialist mental health services.
Providing real parity between mental and physical health care is critical. We want to make prescriptions for people with chronic mental health conditions available for free on the NHS, as is the case for conditions such as cancer and diabetes.