Frequently Asked Questions


About this campaign
What does it mean to Vote4theNHS?
What’s the purpose of this campaign?
Is this campaign just about the NHS?
Who’s running this campaign?
How can I show my support on social media?
How will you use my data?
Do I have to pledge to get the Newsletter?

About The Patients Association

Who are The Patients Association?
How is The Patients Association funded?
What is the role of The Patients Association in this campaign?
Who does The Patients Association advise people to vote for?
Should charities campaign on political issues?
Can charities campaign in an election?

About health and social care
What’s the difference between health and social care?
Which health and social care services are we talking about here?
What are the best policies for health and social care?

About the election and political parties
What if I’m not in England?
How did you decide which parties to feature on this site?
How can I contact my candidates about health and social care?
How do I vote in the general election?

Contact us

About this campaign

What does it mean to Vote4theNHS?

For many people, the NHS and social care are the most important policy issues that the Government elected on June 8th will have to deal with. By pledging to Vote4theNHS, you are stating that you will cast your vote on the basis of which party or candidate you feel will offer the best approach to health and social care.

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What’s the purpose of this campaign?

We know that the NHS and social care are of central importance to many people when they vote. This campaign gives people the chance to declare how vital these issues are to them, and make clear to politicians that they are a top priority.

This website also helps people to make an informed choice, by providing information about health and care policy, including what each of the main parties are promising to do.

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Is this campaign just about the NHS?

This campaign is about the NHS, social care and public health. They are all closely related, and it doesn’t make much sense to consider one without the others. We called it Vote4theNHS to give it a snappy title that makes the purpose obvious, but it’s certainly not intended to exclude social care and public health. The phrase ‘health and social care’ is used throughout this website and refers to all three of these concepts. We sometimes also say ‘health and care’.

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Who’s running this campaign?

The campaign has been set up by The Patients Association, the national campaigning charity speaking up for patients on health and social care issues.

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How can I show my support on social media?

You can amend your profile picture on Facebook or Twitter on Twibbon if you haven’t already, and post a message to your friends or followers. You can also share any page on this site on social media using the buttons at the bottom.

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How will you use my data?

We will send you updates and information throughout the election campaign as it unfolds – you can unsubscribe from this at any time. We won’t pass on your data to anyone else or use it for any other purpose. Please see our privacy policy for more details.

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Do I have to pledge to get the election newsletter?

Everyone who pledges to Vote4theNHS automatically receives our election newsletter. If you’d like to receive the newsletter but don’t feel able to pledge to prioritise health and social care when you vote, you can subscribe without pledging in the right-hand sidebar of most pages on the website.

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About The Patients Association

Who are The Patients Association?

The Patients Association is a national charity campaigning for real improvements to health and social care services and giving vital help and support to patients when they need it most.

Our mission is to listen to patients and speak up for change.

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How is The Patients Association funded?

We receive no funding from government. Our main sources of funding are project work with NHS bodies and with corporate partners. Neither the NHS nor our corporate partners have any say in the positioning or operations of The Patients Association. We also receive donations from our very generous supporters.

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What is the role of The Patients Association in this campaign?

We built the website, wrote its contents and are promoting the campaign. We have no control over how many people pledge to Vote4theNHS or over which policies people indicate they approve of.

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Who does The Patients Association advise people to vote for?

Under charity and electoral law, we may not advise or encourage anyone to vote for or against any party or candidate. This website offers information to assist voters who care about health and social care to make their decision, but does not endorse or criticise any party or candidate.

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Should charities campaign on political issues?

Absolutely. Civil society exists to ensure that everyone has a voice, and it is entirely lawful for charities to campaign on issues that are vital to their beneficiaries. Often securing change through public policy is a highly effective way for a charity to deliver its charitable mission.

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Can charities campaign in an election?

Yes. Charities may not favour or promote any political party or candidate over another, but they may offer views on political issues that are relevant to their beneficiaries. Accordingly this campaign provides information about health policy generally, and the approach of political parties, but does not offer opinions on which parties or candidates people should support.

Charities must register with the Electoral Commission if they spend £20,000 or more on an election campaign. Spending on this campaign has been assessed, and will not reach that level.

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About health and social care

What’s the difference between health and social care?

Generally speaking, healthcare means treatment or care that addresses a medical problem or condition. Social care generally means care and support with aspects of day-to-day living, such as washing or getting dressed.

Health and social care have been separated since the NHS was founded. Social care has always been the responsibility of local authorities, and has never been provided by the NHS.

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Which health and social care services are we talking about here?

Health and social care services are devolved. The MPs elected to the Parliament at Westminster in this general election only have a say over health and social care in England. Parliament oversees the Government in setting NHS policy and spending, and in providing funding and a legal framework to local authorities in delivering social care and public health.

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What are the best policies for health and social care?

That’s for you to decide! For some ideas, see the Health Policy page, and then look through what the parties are saying.

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About the election and political parties

What if I’m not in England?

Even if you’re voting for an MP outside England, they may often still have a say over legislation relating to health and social care in England (though there will be stages when only English MPs can vote on a Bill). Also, the different health and social care systems throughout the UK tend to influence each other, so it’s still worth pledging to Vote4theNHS.

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How did you decide which parties to feature on this site?

We are featuring the policies of all major parties standing in England, using the same criteria as are used to determine eligibility for UK-wide party election broadcasts. The key test is that the party must be contesting one sixth or more of the seats up for election. If it transpires that further parties will meet this test once all nominations are confirmed, we will add their details to this site.

Parties that are only standing in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will not be added to the site, as health and social care are devolved matters. Plaid Cymru made no commitments about how they would vote at Westminster on health and social care issues. The SNP made some high-level commitments, principally to, “vote to protect the health service in all parts of the UK from privatisation,” and to, “argue for an increase in frontline health spending.” As these manifesto pledges are extremely brief compared to the commitments of the main Britain-wide parties, a separate page has not been set up for them.

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How can I contact my candidates about health and social care?

Many candidates have email addresses and social media profiles in the public domain. You can search for them by entering your post code at TweetYourCandidate, which uses data from Democracy Club.

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How do I vote in the general election?

To vote in the general election on June 8th you will need to register to vote by May 22nd.

Polling stations will be open from 7am until 10pm on June 8th. You will be sent a polling card telling you where your polling station is.

You can also vote by post, or by asking someone else to vote on your behalf.

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Contact us

For press enquiries, call 020 8423 9111.

If you need assistance with an issue relating to your health or social care, call our Helpline on 020 8423 8999.

For any other query, please contact us at vote4thenhs@patients-association.com