In response to the CPF discussion paper on public services—health & social care and education—we received submissions from 82 CPF groups, representing at least 1,165 members from 98 constituencies plus one county group, one national group and one Conservatives Abroad group.
Of those who participated this time, almost one-in-six (15.5%) had not previously participated in CPF discussions. About one-in-ten (9.8%) live in swing seats (those that we won or lost in the 2019 general election), two-in-five (40.5%) in opposition-held seats and half (49.7%) in Conservative-held seats. About two-in-five (40%) live in the South East, one-in-seven (14%) in the South West, one-in-eight (13%) in the North or Yorkshire & Humber, one-in-eight (13%) in the Midlands, one-in-eight (12%) in London and one-in-twelve (9%) in the East.
Several groups called for greater defence of freedom of speech and promotion of political balance in the education sector, so will welcome the news of tougher measures to strengthen free speech and academic freedom at universities in England.
Thank you to everybody who participated in the consultation: your suggestions continue to be well-received and will help the Party to deliver on its manifesto commitments.
What follows is a brief overview of the key points raised by CPF groups and a few representative quotations. As usual, a more detailed summary has been sent to the PM’s Policy Unit, the relevant Secretaries of State (Health & Social Care and Education) and the Party leadership. We look forward to publishing a formal response to members’ ideas in due course.
“There is too much focus on funding rather than results, i.e. input rather than output.”
“Only when budgets and commissioning are combined at a local level will we see health and social care integrated.”
“Children should be interacting with others their own age, not just in school but also in groups outside of school. This also encourages parents to meet and support each other.”
“Find another term: ‘mental’ has too many negative connotations—’non-physical’?”
“The bill will need paying at some point for locking down society.” “The growth of state interference in so many areas should not be a legacy of a Conservative government.”
“Students should not be going to university if they have big gaps in their knowledge.”
Overwhelmingly, CPF Groups believe Government should not play a direct role in local NHS decision-making.
Most felt that funding should be devolved to local control and called for greater clarity over and accountability for what is and is not being placed under local control.
One-in-seven (13%) said the UK needs to look at health service provision models abroad.
One-in-seven (14%) highlighted the urgent need for a Dilnot-style solution for social care.
Groups stress that employers should not provide active physical or mental healthcare.
A majority of groups said there should be at least some level of school examinations.
Over half of CPF Groups (54%) said students “are clearly not receiving a fair deal” and deserve a refund on tuition and accommodation fees.
One-in-four (26%) highlighted the injustice of the 6% charge on student loans.
One-in-seven (14%) said the UK needs to learn from education models that work abroad.
Other specific suggestions include:
Create a National Care Service, as per the 2009 Green Paper: recognise care workers as professionals and create NCS-built, owned and operated care homes nationwide.
Completely overhaul or replace Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
Support the family. More tax incentives for taking care of relatives and being a carer.
Establish a Royal Commission to review the NHS.
Announce, ideally at the March budget, a 100% rebate on university fees for the past year.
If universities are not financially viable, then the government should not prop them up.
Create a clearing system such as UCAS for apprenticeships.
Introduce a National Tutoring Programme to get students back on track.
Use Social Value legislation to embed local recruitment & training in all public procurements.
For every foreign doctor we employ, our aid budget should train two doctors abroad.