Tag Archives: General Election

HIV Positive Votes in the General Election 2015

partyleaders

It’s only a week until the general election on Thursday, 7th May. It looks like being the closest election in living memory, meaning the way you vote could be the most important political decision of your life.

With lots of talk about care, health and the NHS, it’s difficult to see where our political parties position themselves in terms of support for people living with HIV. This isn’t surprising as focus tends to be put on financing and restructuring health and social care, rather than on individual health conditions.

Do you know who your voting for yet or are you still not sure? – If you’re not, you are not alone! Polls show that more people than ever before are still trying to decide which of the parties to support.

Part of the problem is information overload. We’re drowning in fact and figures about politics, claims and counter-claims from the politicians and their spin-doctors. How is anyone supposed to cut through it all to the things that really matter to them?

You may be asking, as a HIV positive individual, what party will ensure my care, and what HIV (or anti-HIV) policies can I expect from our government and now is the time to decide if you prefer to vote for the status quo, or vote for change.

A HIV diagnoses is only part of the issue, what to matters is access to GP’s and ensuring our NHS is adequately staffed to support patients in need of medical assistance. While there’s no direct messages from our political leaders about HIV, (other than sensationalised media reports) we can see their pledges for health & social care which directly affects not just people living with HIV, but for many other people who use public services.

The following information is provided to help give clarity across the parties’ pledges.  We are obviously not advising you who to vote for but we hope this information is useful if you are yet to make up your mind.

What is the main message?

ConsA strong NHS built on a strong economy, prioritising frontline care

 

labWill rescue the NHS, invest in its future and join up services from
home to hospital

lib-d

Quality health for all, with a guarantee of equal care for mental health

 

ukipFund frontline services and encourage a common-sense approach with less political interference

greenA publicly funded, publicly provided NHS and an end to the privatisation of services

How much money have they pledged for the NHS?

ConsA minimum real-terms increase of £8 billion a year by 2020

 

labAn annual £2.5 billion ‘time to care’ fund, paid for by a mansion tax, a levy on tobacco firms and by tackling tax avoidance

lib-dFunding to be £8 billion a year higher by 2020

 

ukipIncrease frontline NHS spending by £3 billion a year by 2020

 

greenAn immediate increase of £12 billion a year, rising to £20 billion a year by 2020, raising some of the extra revenue from higher taxes on alcohol and tobacco

What about social care?

ConsNo commitment to increase social care funding.  A guarantee that no one will have to sell their home to fund residential social care.

labNo commitment to increase social care funding. Year-of-care budgets to incentivise better care at home, an end to 15-minute home care visits and a ban on zero-hours contracts for care workers.

lib-dNo commitment to increase social care funding. Reduce pressure on hospitals by investing £500 million a year in services close to people’s homes.

ukipIncrease social care funding by £1.2 billion a year by 2020

 

greenProvide free social care for older people, spending an additional £9 billion a year by 2020

 

Have they committed to delivering integrated care?

ConsYes – building on the Better Care Fund and proposals to pool £6 billion of health and social care funding in Greater Manchester

labYes – physical health, mental health and social care services to be integrated to provide ‘whole-person care’, with a stronger role for health and wellbeing boards

lib-dYes – all health and social care budgets to be pooled by 2018, a stronger role for health and wellbeing boards and responsibility for social care to be transferred to the Department of Health

ukipYes – fully integrate health and social care funding and responsibilities, under the control of the NHS

greenYes – social care to be provided free at the point of use in line with the recommendations of the Commission on the Future of Health and Social Care in England

 

And do they support the NHS five year forward review?

ConsYes – senior Conservatives have publicly backed it, and their funding commitments are closely tied to it

labIn principle – Andy Burnham has stated his support but made clear Labour would make ‘fundamental changes’ that would alter the assumptions it is based on.

lib-dYes – senior Liberal Democrats have made their support clear, and they were the first party to commit to the £8 billion funding increase it calls for

ukipNo mention of it

 

greenNo mention of it

 

What are their plans to access to services?

ConsAll patients to have access to GPs and hospital care seven days a week by 2020.  Guaranteed same-day appointment with a GP for everyone over 75.

labGuaranteed GP appointments within 48 hours, or on the same day for those who need it.  A maximum one-week wait for cancer tests and results by 2020

lib-dEasier access to GPs, expanding evening and weekend opening, and
encouraging phone and Skype appointments

ukipInitiate a pilot programme to put GPs on duty in A&E departments seven days a week.  Fund 8,000 new GP posts, with 1,000 of these designated to work on duty in A&E departments if the pilot programme is successful

greenProvide local community health centres offering a range of services including out-of-hours care, to sit alongside GP surgeries

 

Have they committed to more staff?

ConsYes – 5,000 more GPs to be trained by 2020

 

labYes – the ‘time to care’ fund would pay for 20,000 nurses, 8,000 GPs, 5,000 care workers and 3,000 midwives

lib-dNo specific pledge

 

ukipYes – an extra 20,000 nurses, 8,000 GPs and 3,000 midwives

 

greenYes – 400,000 jobs to be created across health and social care

 

What pledges have the made about mental health?

ConsEnsure that psychological therapists are available in every part of the country. Ensure that women have access to mental health support during and after pregnancy

labIncrease the proportion of the mental health budget spent on children A new right to psychological therapy in the NHS Constitution

lib-dAn extra £500 million a year for mental health services to improve access and reduce waiting times A raft of proposals to improve mental health services, in particular for children, pregnant women and new mothers.

ukipIncrease mental health funding by £170 million a year
End the postcode lottery for psychiatric liaison services in acute hospitals and A&E departments

greenEnsure that spending on mental health rises and that everyone who needs a mental health bed can access one in their local NHS, or within a reasonable distance of their home if specialist care is required.  Eliminate the use of police cells as ‘places of safety’ for children by 2016, and for adults, other than in exceptional circumstances, by the end of the
next parliament

What are they saying about public health?

ConsReview how best to support people with conditions such as obesity or drug or alcohol addictions to remain in or return to work

labSet maximum limits on levels of fat, salt and sugar in food marketed to children.  Set a new national ambition to improve the uptake of physical activity and take targeted action on cheap, high-alcohol drinks.

lib-dRestrict the marketing of junk food to children. Introduce a tax levy on tobacco companies to contribute to the costs of smoking cessation services and implement minimum unit pricing for alcohol

ukipOppose minimum pricing of alcohol and reverse plain packaging legislation for tobacco products.

greenIntroduce a minimum price of 50p per unit for alcoholic drinks
Extend VAT to less healthy foods, including sugar, spending the money raised on subsidising around one-third of the cost of fresh fruit and vegetables.

 Would they repeal the Health and Social Care act?

Cons No.

 

lab

A bill in their first Queen’s Speech to repeal the Act – this would roll back competition, make the NHS the preferred provider of services and restore the Health Secretary’s responsibility to provide a comprehensive health service

lib-dNo, but committed to repealing any parts of the Act that make NHS services ‘vulnerable to forced privatisation’ and ending the role of the Competition and Markets Authority in health

ukipNo

 

greenYes – repeal the Act by introducing an NHS Reinstatement Bill to abolish competition and the commissioner–provider split and restore the Health Secretary’s responsibility to provide a comprehensive health service.

Election Manifestos

You can find all the information above and more policies within the party manifesto’s.  Click on the icons below to visit the party’s manifesto.

ConsConservative

 

labLabour

 

lib-dLiberal Democrats

 

ukipUKIP

 

greenGreen

 

 

STAY UPDATED
Follow LASS on Twitter
or subscribe by email
Visit Well For Living
for well-being news and info or follow_THEM-a copy

HIV and the general election – what we should be talking about!

GE2015-Ribbon,-TRobson

Press Release via NAM (@aidsmap)

namamlogo

NAM is an award-winning, community-based organisation, which works from the UK. They deliver reliable and accurate HIV information across the world to HIV-positive people and to the professionals who treat, support and care for them.

The National AIDS Trust and HIV Scotland have joined together to identify the key priorities for the new Parliament which will reduce HIV transmission and improve the lives of people living with HIV across the UK. They are calling on the next UK Government to commit to the following:

1. Retain the protections set out in the Human Rights Act, which acts as a safeguard to ensure people living with HIV can live a meaningful, safe and fulfilled life.

2. Introduce compulsory Sex and Relationships Education for all schools, which is inclusive of young people of all sexual orientations and gender identities and has appropriate sexual health and HIV content – in the first session of the new Parliament.*

3. Make HIV prevention a national public health priority, with effective funding, more varied testing options and access to the full range of prevention information and choices for all who need them.*

4. End HIV stigma in the NHS and social care through the training of all NHS and care staff.*

5. Ensure that people affected by HIV-related sickness or disability have the support they need by committing to the Disability Benefits Consortium’s Five Things You And Your Party Can Do For Disabled People.

Deborah Gold, chief executive of NAT (National AIDS Trust), said: ”HIV has already been talked about during the general election but now we need to focus on how we can decrease the number of people getting HIV in the UK, how we can reduce the shocking levels of stigma and ignorance around the disease, and how we can ensure people living with HIV are treated with respect and dignity.”

George Valiotis, chief executive of HIV Scotland, said: “The responsibility for many of the decisions that affect HIV are devolved in Scotland – sex and relationships education, HIV prevention and the training of NHS and care staff. Despite this, the new UK Government has a key role to play north of the border. Chiefly retaining a commitment to the Human Rights Act and ensuring dependable, fair access to welfare support for those who need it.”

The charities are asking voters to raise these issues when talking to candidates and to share the five HIV asks.  This is part of a cross-sector campaign, with Terrence Higgins Trust joining the call for the new Government to take action on sex and relationships education, HIV prevention for England and a stigma-free NHS. 

STAY UPDATED
Follow LASS on Twitter
or subscribe by email
Visit Well For Living
for well-being news and info or follow_THEM-a copy