Last week, Theresa May launched the Conservative manifesto. The manifesto included a number of eye-catching pledges of relevance to the health tech sector and the NHS more broadly.
Regarding technology, the manifesto committed the Conservatives to:
- Implement the recommendations of the Accelerated Access Review to ensure the NHS gets the best value for money and ‘remains at the forefront of innovation’.
- The ‘most ambitious programme of investment in buildings and technology the NHS has ever seen’. Therefore enabling ‘more care to be delivered closer to home by building and upgrading primary care facilities, mental health clinics and hospitals in every part of England’.
- Expand the number of NHS approved apps that can help monitor care and provide support for physical and mental health conditions.
- Pilot the live publication of waiting times data for A&Es and other urgent care service.
Away from technology, the other headline health announcements were:
- To increase NHS spending by a minimum of £8 billion in real terms over the next five years.
- To support the implementation of the Five Year Forward View through the introduction of Sustainability and Transformation Plans ‘providing they are clinically led and locally supported’.
- To introduce a Mental Health Bill – the first for 35 years.
- To ‘make it a priority’ in Brexit negotiations that 140,000 EU nationals working in health and care system ‘can carry on making their vital contribution’.
The manifesto’s references to health tech, specifically the commitments to implement the recommendations of the Accelerated Access Review and embark on ‘the most ambitious programme of investment in buildings and the technology the NHS has ever seen’, are welcome. Details on the latter promise remain light currently. However, it will be interesting to see whether the Prime Minister releases any further information on this in the remaining weeks of the campaign.