CEO Statement: 2024 General Election Result

5 July 2024

Statement from Ed Hughes, CEO, Council of Deans of Health, following the results of the UK General Election 2024

On behalf of the Council of Deans of Health, I want to offer congratulations to the Labour Party and Sir Keir Starmer for winning the 2024 General Election. I also want to offer a warm welcome to all new and returning MPs after six long weeks of campaigning.  

With the NHS at the top of the electorate’s agenda, the Council looks forward to working with the new government and parliamentarians of all parties to deliver on the promises made on healthcare during the campaign. The significant mandate given by the country gives the new government the potential to be truly transformative.   

Before the election was called, the Council worked with our members, across the UK, on the key challenges they face on delivering the nurses, midwives and allied health professionals the NHS needs. These issues must now be addressed as a priority to ensure the NHS is put on a sustainable footing by the end of this parliament: 

  1. Urgently address the growing shortfall in healthcare educators and researchers
  2. Boost healthcare student recruitment and retention as a priority
  3. Review the overlapping layers of regulation facing healthcare education
  4. Expand and diversify the placements needed for a growth in healthcare students

Similarly, during the election campaign, along with partners in the higher education sector, we highlighted the need for better departmental join-up and prime ministerial responsibility for ensuring these challenges are addressed. This will be key for Labour’s commitment to better workforce planning across health and social care and delivery of the Long Term Workforce Plan. 

Opportunities set out in the Labour Party manifesto, such as the new Skills England body, and a review into post-16 education are welcome, but our members continue to face funding challenges, committed to delivering a quality education on an ever-diminishing unit of resource. The challenges higher education faces will have a direct impact on the future of the domestically educated NHS workforce, so we stand ready to work with the new government to address these. 

The Council of Deans of Health and our member institutions are ready and willing to support the Prime Minister and his ministerial colleagues as they seek to deliver the agenda for change they were elected on. Our members will be central to the realisation of their plans for the NHS. With the election now over, the Council is ready to return to engaging with the government, opposition and devolved administrations in the months ahead. 

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