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CEP election analysis
Health and social care
Michael Anderson, Alistair McGuire and Elias Mossialos
November 2019
Paper No' CEPEA053:
Full Paper (pdf)

Tags: nhs; waiting times; adult social care

The National Health Service (NHS) is arguably the one national institution that unifies the country in terms of general public support. But there is growing concern about the long-term sustainability of the NHS, with 57% of people surveyed in a recent Ipsos MORI poll expecting deterioration in services (Ipsos Mori, 2017). It is therefore unsurprising that it has been a major source of political debate over the past few elections. Not only has the NHS been important to politicians in eliciting voter support, related debates on social care provision have also gained in importance over time. Indeed, some would argue that the Leave campaign’s claim that Brexit would make £350 million per week available for the NHS was instrumental in the outcome of the referendum, and that the miscalculation in announcing how social care might be financed also led to the eventual downfall of the May premiership, the selection of Boris Johnston as prime minister and the subsequent call for a third UK election since May 2015. Correct or not, health and social care remain central to the political debate in the 2019 election.