In 2009 the Conservatives released a policy document entitled "Renewal Plan for the NHS", a 25 page policy document, with a one-page introduction by David Cameron. At the beginning of 2010 the Conservatives released their "Draft Manifest" for the NHS three pages of policy and six pages about David Cameron (including a full page photograph). If anyone tries to tell you that the Conservatives are about policies not personalities, you can point out that in their draft manifesto their NHS policies are only half as important as their leader! Note that there is a lot of disquiet from grassroots Conservatives about this presidential approach, particularly the Conservative campaign that says, next to a picture of David Cameron "I'll cut the deficit, not the NHS". Many grassroots Conservatives have pointed out the omission of the work "we" in that phrase.
Shrinking 25 pages into 3 pages means that a lot of the detail has been removed, and it also means that some policies have been dropped. So this means that the policies that remain in the new document are those that the Conservatives really do want to implement. On these pages I will examine these policies in more detail, and use the 2009 policy document to explain more fully what the Conservative policies will mean to you, the user of the NHS.
Their NHS policy is split into three sections. Personally I think some of their policies are misplaced, but I do not write policy documents, nor am I a Conservative, so I do not think like they do. These three sections are:
- A Patient-Centred NHS
- A More Accessible and Accountable NHS
- Improving the Nation's Public Health
These are laudable, but what are the policies and what will they mean to you as a patient or carer?
Over the next few days I will provide a series of blog posts that explain what the Conservative NHS policies will mean in practice (indeed, if they will make any changes at all). Return back here to see more of the Conservative policies dissected.