By Lucy Coates - CVS Sector Development Officer (Projects & Innovation)  

A look at the different approaches to health across the manifestos and, in particular, each party’s pledge to tackle early detection of cancer and health inequalities. 

The Conservative Party is focused on ramping up NHS funding to enhance patient care and cut waiting times. They promise to bolster the ranks of doctors and nurses through aggressive recruitment and training programs and to embrace new healthcare technologies and digital health solutions to boost efficiency and outcomes. Their cancer strategy involves reducing waiting times by hiring more specialists and investing in early detection. The Conservatives also plan to pump more money into cancer research and innovative treatments, roll out nationwide screening programs to catch cancer early, and provide holistic care for cancer patients, including mental health support. 

Labour envisions a significant increase in NHS funding, with a strong emphasis on addressing healthcare inequalities and ending NHS privatization. They aim to expand and integrate mental health services into primary care and improve staffing levels by enhancing pay, conditions, and training for healthcare workers. On the cancer front, Labour prioritizes early diagnosis with expanded screening programs and increased funding for GP services. They are committed to ensuring timely access to cancer treatment, investing in cutting-edge cancer research, supporting clinical trials, and offering comprehensive support for cancer patients, including financial, emotional, and social care. 

The Liberal Democrats are committed to increasing NHS funding with a focus on preventive care and community health services. They plan to elevate mental health services to equal priority with physical health and expand access to support. Tackling NHS workforce shortages through better training, recruitment, and retention is also high on their agenda. They champion the use of technology and innovation to enhance healthcare delivery and patient outcomes. For cancer care, the Liberal Democrats emphasize the importance of enhancing screening programs to boost early detection rates, investing in research and development for new treatments, ensuring timely access to the best available treatments, and supporting cancer survivors with comprehensive aftercare, including rehabilitation and mental health support. 

The Green Party aims to ensure the NHS is fully funded and free from privatization, with a strong focus on public health and prevention. They plan to expand mental health services, integrating them into all aspects of healthcare, and promote healthy lifestyles through public health campaigns. Addressing health inequalities by investing in underserved areas is also a top priority. For cancer care, the Greens emphasize preventive measures and early detection through increased funding for public health initiatives. They support sustainable and environmentally friendly cancer treatments, ensure equitable access to care across all regions, and offer holistic and integrative care options for cancer patients and their families. 

All parties agree on the need for increased NHS funding, though their focus areas differ. The Conservatives emphasize technology, while Labour and the Greens emphasize public health and ending privatization. Regarding the healthcare workforce, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats focus on recruitment and training, while Labour emphasizes improving pay and conditions. 

Mental health services are set to expand across all party plans, with varying degrees of integration into primary care and an emphasis on underserved communities. The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats highlight the role of technology and innovation, whereas Labour and the Greens focus more on public health and prevention. 

In cancer care, all parties prioritize early detection and increasing research funding, with a shared goal of reducing waiting times and improving access to treatment. Comprehensive support for cancer patients is a common theme, including mental health and holistic care. However, none of the main political parties explicitly mention increasing community awareness of cancer in their 2024 manifestos. While their efforts contribute indirectly to community awareness through improved education and accessibility, specific community awareness campaigns are not highlighted. 

Disclaimer: CVS Cheshire East cannot make any guarantees about news, events and training that have been submitted from external sources