Your web browser is outdated and may be insecure

The RCN recommends using an updated browser such as Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome

This is your opportunity to choose who will make up the next UK government and have a say in the future of nursing and health care. Make your vote count to bring about positive change for nursing in the election on 4 July.  

Our 12 election priorities  

  1. Give all nursing staff a substantial pay rise and introduce automatic band 5 to 6 pay progression for NHS nurses. 
  2. Introduce safety-critical nurse-to-patient ratios in all care settings.  
  3. Provide legal protection for people raising concerns about unsafe staffing. 
  4. Fund mental health support for all nursing staff, provided by every employer.  
  5. Eradicate corridor care, including forced reporting of it.   
  6. Commit to government-funded nursing degrees with a job guarantee for graduates. 
  7. Revoke legislation restricting the right to strike. 
  8. Protect the title ‘nurse’ in law.  
  9. End exploitation of health and social care workers and properly fund the sector.  
  10. Provide sufficient funding for continuing professional development.  
  11. End punitive immigration policies which affect internationally educated nursing staff. 
  12. Increase overseas aid spending to tackle global nursing shortages.  

Read our full manifesto.  

Party pledges 

The RCN is not affiliated with any political party. We work with MPs across all parties to champion nursing, create positive change and help influence government policies that benefit nursing staff and the health of the nation.  

Ahead of the general election, we’ve read the manifestos of the main political parties. Here’s an outline of what they say on issues affecting nursing, health and social care.

Parties appear in alphabetical order. 

Conservative Party 

  • Funding: at the next Spending Review, provide local authorities with a multi-year funding settlement to support social care.  
  • Hospital building: continue to deliver 40 new hospitals by 2030 and invest proportionately more in out-of-hospital services over time. 
  • Mental health: expand coverage of mental health support teams from 50% to 100% of schools and colleges in England by 2030. 
  • Primary and community care: build or modernise 250 GP surgeries, focusing on areas of new housing growth. 
  • Recruitment: by the end of the next parliament, recruit 92,000 more nurses and 28,000 more doctors in the NHS than in 2023.
  • Senior management: reduce the number of managers in the NHS by 5,500 and consult on a disbarring regime for NHS managers, which would reform the regulation of these roles. 
  • Social care: commit to supporting a high quality and sustainable social care system, building on the additional investment of up to £8.6 bn over the last 2 years. 
  • Women’s health: prioritise women’s health, following publication of the first ever Women’s Health Strategy in 2022. 

Read the Conservative Party manifesto in full.

Green Party 

  • Funding: invest an additional £50bn in health and social care. 
  • Immigration: change the working visa system to end the exploitation of overseas workers in the care sector. 
  • Pay and conditions: provide an immediate pay boost to NHS staff, to help with staff retention. 
  • Primary and community care: increase funding for primary care, with additional annual spending reaching £1.5bn by 2030. 
  • Public health: restore public health budgets to 2015/16 levels with an immediate annual increase of £1.5bn. Properly fund smoking cessation, drug and alcohol treatment and sexual health services. 
  • Repeal anti-trade union legislation: replace current anti-union laws with a positive Charter of Workers’ Rights, with the right to strike at its heart along with a legal obligation for all employers to recognise trade unions.  
  • Social care: invest £20bn to introduce free personal care to ensure dignity for older people and those with a disability. Increase pay rates in the sector and introduce a career structure for carers to rebuild the care workforce. 
  • Training and education: support every higher education student, with the restoration of grants and the end of tuition fees. 

Read the Green Party manifesto in full.    

Labour Party 

  • Hospital building: address the disrepair of NHS estates by committing to the New Hospitals Programme. 
  • Mental health: recruit an additional 8,500 new staff to treat children and adults, establishing hubs providing mental health support for children and young people. Reform the Mental Health Act. 
  • Primary and community care: trial neighbourhood health centres, integrating services such as family doctors, district nurses, care workers, physiotherapists, palliative care, and mental health specialists under one roof, enhancing community care delivery.
  • Repeal anti-trade union legislation: introduce legislation for a new deal for working people within the first 100 days of a new parliament. This will include repealing the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act and the Trade Union Act 2016.  
  • Social care: create a National Care Service with standards to ensure consistency of care across the country, focusing on a 'home first' principle to support independent living. Create enhanced integration across the NHS and social care to improve hospital discharge. 
  • Technology and innovation: harness the power of technologies like AI to transform diagnostic services, improving speed and accuracy, and embedding a greater focus on prevention throughout the health care system. 
  • Waiting times and workforce: deliver 40,000 more appointments each week, paying staff to work extra shifts, if they wish to. 
  • Women’s health: train thousands more midwives, set targets to close the Black and Asian maternal mortality gap, and ensure rapid improvement for trusts failing on maternity care. 

Read the Labour Party manifesto in full.

Liberal Democrats 

  • Hospital building: provide £1.9 bn of investment in hospitals and other NHS infrastructure and equipment. 
  • Mental health: establish mental health hubs and regular mental health check-ups at key life stages. Place a dedicated mental health professional in every school. 
  • Pay and conditions: implement a 10-year retention plan for NHS staff, make flexible working a day-one right, and reform the work visa system for health and care staff. 
  • Primary and community care: ensure everyone can see a GP within 7 days, or within 24 hours for urgent needs, by recruiting 8,000 more GPs. 
  • Public health: increase investment in public health to improve general health and reduce hospital admissions. 
  • Social care: introduce free personal care, establish a Royal College of Care Workers, and implement a higher carer’s minimum wage.  
  • Training and education: expand professional development and training opportunities for health care staff, including flexible apprenticeships and vocational training.  
  • Waiting times and workforce: guarantee 100% of patients start cancer treatment within 62 days from urgent referral. 

Read the Liberal Democrat Party manifesto in full

Plaid Cymru

  • Cancer treatment: introduce a comprehensive cancer strategy to ensure early detection and treatment, reducing the postcode lottery for cancer treatment in Wales.
  • Mental health: reform the Mental Health Act to better align services and support neurodiverse people from the point of referral.
  • Overseas health care workers: advocate for unrestricted visas for overseas care workers and ensure appropriate support for their integration into Welsh society.
  • Pay and conditions: pay social care workers at least £1 above the Real Living Wage, with this rate being index-linked to inflation. Wage restoration pledges for NHS staff must be implemented as soon as possible, to show we value and support our staff and to boost recruitment and retention in key areas.
  • Public health: introduce a wellness service to rebalance resources to prevent illness, reducing the burden on the NHS. Commit to tackling health inequalities determined by class, race, and gender.
  • Recruitment: put an emphasis on better workforce planning and recruitment. Reduce reliance on agency staff and reinvest savings into health care.
  • Social care: work towards a National Care Service for Wales, ensuring social care is free at the point of use, like health care. End the artificial distinction between health and social care, particularly benefiting those with dementia.
  • Workers’ rights: advocate for the devolution of employment law to Wales to strengthen workers' rights. Introduce measures to tackle insecure work, provide paid bereavement and miscarriage leave as day-one rights, and abolish zero-hours contracts.

Read the Plaid Cymru manifesto in full.

Reform UK

  • GP access: provide NHS patients with vouchers for private treatment if they can’t see a GP within 3 days.
  • Overseas health care workers: freeze non-essential immigration but support immigration of those with essential skills, including doctors and nursing staff.
  • Pay and conditions: enable all frontline NHS and social care staff to pay zero basic rate tax for 3 years to retain existing staff and attract leavers back.
  • Public health: eliminate NHS waiting lists within 2 years by leveraging independent health care capacity and providing tax relief on private health care and insurance.
  • Private health care: harness independent and not-for-profit health provision in the UK and overseas.
  • Recruitment: end training caps for UK medical students and write off student fees pro-rata over 10 years of NHS service for all doctors, nurses, and medical staff.
  • Social care: develop a Royal Commission to create a sustainable social care system integrated with the NHS. This includes simplifying funding streams and improving regulation.
  • Workers' rights: scrap Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DE&I) rules that have lowered standards and reduced economic productivity.

Read the Reform UK manifesto in full.


SNP MPs will demand the following from the UK government: 

  • Capital spending: reverse the £1.3 bn cut to Scotland’s capital budget to enable investment in new hospitals. 

  • Funding: boost: NHS spending by a minimum of £10bn extra each year. The SNP says this investment into NHS England would generate an additional £1bn annually for NHS Scotland to help meet increasing demand. 

  • Overseas health care workers: reverse recent moves to stop care workers from overseas bringing their families with them when they come to work in the UK.
  • Pay and conditions: match Scotland’s NHS pay deals by increasing investment in NHS England staff pay and conditions by at least £6bn. This would deliver around £600m for Scotland that can be invested in pay deals for NHS Scotland staff.  
  • Prevent NHS privatisation: protect the NHS from ‘Westminster privatisation’ through a ‘Keep the NHS in Public Hands’ Bill. 
  • Public health: take a public health approach to tackle the drug deaths crisis and devolve to Scotland the power to reduce drugs harm. Reintroduce UK-wide legislation to create a smoke free generation and ban single use vapes.
  • Repeal anti-trade union legislation: stand with workers and repeal the Strikes (Minimum Services Levels) Act, resolve industrial disputes through constructive negotiations and repeal the Trade Union Act 2016.
  • Workers’ rights: devolve employment rights and the minimum wage to Scotland to strengthen workers’ rights. Scrap the sick pay threshold and increase paid maternity leave to one year. 

Read the SNP manifesto in full

Read next