We will always fight to protect our health and care system, and ensure it can carry on delivering for future generations. We recently announced an extra 1p on income tax to fund the NHS and social care. 

The tax would raise an additional £65.2 million for Bournemouth and Dorset, with £58 million for Dorset NHS and £7.2 million for social care in Bournemouth each year. 

The Liberal Democrats will always fight to protect our health and care system, and to ensure it can carry on delivering for future generations. But to do that, we know we must recognise and address the critical funding and capacity challenges these services face.

We know we need additional investment in health and care services as a matter of urgency and have called on the Government to set up an independent, cross-party commission to look at how we can deliver a new, sustainable settlement for health and care in the longer term.

We have set up our own panel of leading experts who will produce recommendations on improving health and care funding later in the year.

Liberal Democrats are clear that our national healthcare system must provide high quality care to all – across both mental and physical health.

We have long campaigned for equality of mental health care in our NHS. In Government we secured additional investment and the first ever treatment waiting-time standards for mental health, and we will continue to campaign tirelessly for the highest standards of care and the extra money which is still needed.

We would also like to see health and care services delivered in a more integrated way and to empower people to take more control of their care through personal budgets which allow people to choose services to fit their individual needs.

The Liberal Democrats believe in treating drug use, legal or illegal, as a health issue, not a criminal justice one.

We support the introduction of a regulated cannabis market in the UK, and call on the Government to listen to the growing body of international evidence which shows that legalising and regulating cannabis delivers significant benefits to public health, as well as reducing harms within the criminal justice system.

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