The Conservatives have pumped out lots of misleading information about their pledges for the NHS. It is time to collect it all in one place.


First published in December 2019.


The Conservatives have pumped out lots of misleading information about their pledges for the NHS. Let’s fact-check them...

(Boris Johnson’s interview in the Telegraph, 28 Sept 2019)

THE FACTS:

◦ £2.7 billion to re-build 6 existing hospitals.
>> “£2.7 billion to rebuild 6 NHS hospitals as part of a first wave of investment from 2020 to 2025.”
[Source: The King’s Fund]

◦ £100 million seed funding for the other 34 to develop a ‘business case’ for more funds.
>> “£100 million of seed funding to develop plans for up to 34 additional hospitals to be built or refurbished as part of the second and third waves of investment from 2025 to 2035 (assuming that future funding actually materialises to allow these seeds to sprout).”
[Source: The King’s Fund]

I think we can safely call this one a blatant lie.

(Boris Johnson’s Conservative Manifesto launch, 24 Nov 2019)

THE FACTS:

◦ This pledge is uncosted.
>> “It’s not clear how this has been calculated, that clearly isn’t the total cost of eventually having 50,000 more nurses on the NHS.”
[Source: FullFact]

◦ 19,000 of these are ALREADY nurses. Boris Johnson admitted that only 31,000 will actually be new.
>> “There are 19,000 nurses who would leave the system unless we put the investment in now and that’s what we’re going to do.”
[Source: Sky News]

◦ Number of nurses per person has fallen under the Conservatives.
>> “Although the number of nurses overall has been rising, per person it fell over the last decade and still hasn’t quite returned to 2010 levels.”
[Source: FullFact]

Nurses don’t appreciate empty promises.

(Matt Hancock's interview on ITV, 9 Nov 2019)

THE FACTS:

◦ The number of GPs per person has fallen under the Conservatives.
>> “The data shows that there has been a recent sustained fall in the number of GPs relative to the size of the population across the UK nations. This does not appear to have happened since the 1960s.”
[Source: Nuffield Trust]

◦ Jeremy Hunt promised 5,000 more GPs. He achieved just 162.
>> “The fall in GPs per person reflects insufficient numbers previously being trained and going on to join the NHS; failure to recruit enough from abroad; and more practitioners leaving for early retirement ... For the overall number of GPs to have kept pace with the number of people in the UK since 2014 we would have needed some 3,400 more GPs.”
[Source: Nuffield Trust]

Judge them by their record.

(Boris Johnson’s first speech as Prime Minister, 24 July 2019)

THE FACTS:

◦ Here is what Sally Warren, Director of Policy at the King’s Fund, says of the Conservative Manifesto money pledge:
>> “The Conservatives appear to be the least generous, with their promised  funding shared between children’s and adults’ social care – but it might  be that more detail about the full package of funding will appear in  the manifesto itself, as the amount promised so far is not enough to  meet rising demand for care while maintaining the current quality and  accessibility of current services.”
[Source: Kings Fund]

Boris Johnson’s plan is nowhere to be seen...

(Boris Johnson’s speech at the Conservative Conference, 2 Oct 2019)

THE FACTS:

◦ Let’s look at the real terms increase (i.e. the only figure that ACTUALLY MATTERS):
>> “The allocation of resources to NHS England and the commissioning sector for 2019/20 to 2023/24 ... are part of the deployment of NHS England’s five-year revenue funding settlement, averaging 3.4% a year in real terms and reaching £20.5bn extra a year by 2023/24.”
[Source: NHS England]

This is NOT the biggest investment in a generation...

It is telling that every single one of their key health pledges is either:

A lie

Misleading

Self-evidently unrealistic

If we cannot trust them on the NHS, why should we trust them on anything else?

On Thursday, the future of the NHS as we know it is at stake...🔷


Do share this info with friends and family who are not inclined to spend time in political bubbles.



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[This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article on 9 December 2019, with the author’s consent, with the purpose of reaching a larger audience. It has been minorly edited and corrected. | The author of the tweets writes in a personal capacity.]

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(Cover: Flickr/Number 10. - PM Boris Johnson visiting Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. | 31 Oct 2019. / Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)