We will fund: –
8,000 MORE GPs We will train and employ GPs to meet this current shortfall and waive university tuition fees for new medical students who work in Britain for five years after qualifying. To encourage those who have left the profession to get back into the surgery, we will fund the cost of re-training for GPs who wish to return to practice. To cut GP waiting times and allow GPs to spend more time actually seeing patients, UKIP will reduce the burden of data collection, target chasing, revalidation and appraisal work that interferes with the care GPs can give to patients.
20,000 MORE NURSES AND 3,000 MORE MIDWIVES Not only will UKIP find the training of nurses and midwives, we will also fund return to practice training for those who have taken career breaks. Because we believe nursing starts and ends on the ward, we will bring back the State Enrolled Nurse, and put care and compassion back at the heart of nursing.
EMERGENCY MEDICINE There is a shortage of emergency medicine consultants in our Accident and Emergency departments, just 1200 when the profession needs closer to 2000. The problem stems not so much from a deficiency in training capacity, but from poor retention once registrars or consultants have qualified. 500 UK-trained emergency medicine consultants are currently working in Australia, New Zealand and Canada alone, which illustrates the attrition rate. Bodies representing this field of medicine believe the solution lies in improving working conditions, such as the extent of weekend cover, unsocial hours, extended shifts and leave patterns. Funding the additional consultants is not in itself a problem, as the cost of locums to cover the current shortage far exceeds that of increasing employed staff and this is what we will do.
GPs FOR A&Es Patients who cannot get a GP appointment frequently turn up in A&E instead, putting additional pressure on already over-stretched resources. We will initiate pilot programmes in English hospitals to put GPs on duty in A&E departments seven days a week. If these pilots succeed in easing the burden on A&E staff by freeing them up to treat seriously ill patients more successfully, we will roll the programme out across the country, deploying approximately 1,000 of the 8,000 additional GPs we are committed to funding.
IMPROVED MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES Patients with mental health problems frequently feel ignored and let down. UKIP takes a ‘whole person’ approach to health and that means giving mental health parity with physical health. We will introduce practical policies to improve delivery of mental health services, including: –
• Directing patients diagnosed with a debilitating long-term condition or terminal illnesses to mental health professionals when appropriate
• Recognising there is often a link between addiction and mental illness and offering appropriate treatment where this is the case
• Offering direct access to specialist mental health treatment for pregnant women and mothers of children under 12 months of age
• Fighting the stigma around mental illness and supporting those seeking to get back into work. Patients experiencing distress or exhibiting mental ill-health issues when admitted to hospital should have both their physical health and mental wellbeing assessed. This must not just be an optional extra: we will end the postcode lottery for psychiatric liaison services in acute hospitals and A&E departments. To fund these initiatives, we will increase mental health funding by £170 million annually, phasing this in through the first two years of the next parliament.
DEMENTIA TREATMENT AND RESEARCH This debilitating and distressing condition is the leading cause of death among women over the age of 55 and the fifth biggest killer of men. We will be investing a full extra £130 million a year into researching and treating dementia by 2017. UKIP will put the ‘national’ back into our national health service We need to get tough on so-called ‘health-tourism.’ Every year the NHS spends up to £2 billion of UK taxpayers’ money treating those ineligible for free care. This bill includes foreign nationals who come to Britain to deliberately seek NHS services at no cost to themselves; those who live here but who do not qualify for free care; treatment for illegal immigrants and those who overstay their visas. The NHS is the National Health Service, not the International Health Service. UKIP will insist migrants and visitors who come to Britain have approved medical insurance. Only those who have the permanent right to remain in Britain and who have paid UK taxes for at least five years will be granted an NHS number and be eligible for the full services offered by the NHS. Urgent medical treatment will still be given to those who need it, but non-urgent treatment will be charged for.
UKIP is the only party that is truly willing to face up to the harsh reality of how health tourism and treating those ineligible is sapping the NHS of funds. The other parties have their heads stuck well and truly in the sand.
HOSPITAL PARKING CHARGES
Hospital car parking charges are a tax on the sick. We will invest £200 million to make parking at English hospitals free for patients and their visitors