A Liberal Democrat government would maintain investment in fast-track social work training and ring-fence more funding for mental health services, according to the party’s election manifesto.
The Lib Democrats also committed to spending £6bn extra a year on NHS and social care, funded by a 1p rise in income tax. Part of the funding would be ring-fenced for mental health.
“Our longer-term objective will be to bring together NHS and social care into one seamless service – pooling budgets in every area by 2020 and developing integrated care organisations,” the manifesto stated.
This would also lead to “single place-based budgets” for health and social care services by 2020, which the party claimed would allow “local areas to decide how best to provide the full spectrum of care for their community”.
The manifesto pledged to “continue to promote and invest” in both the Frontline and Think Ahead fast-track social work training schemes. The Conservative and Lib Dem coalition government introduced both programmes during its time in office.
Other pledges made by the party ahead of the upcoming election on 8 June include a commitment to roll out mental health waiting time standards and carry out an “urgent and comprehensive review” of the impact of legal aid cuts on access to justice for social welfare appeals and domestic violence cases.