Charities must be put at the heart of parties' NHS plans - CAF

21 April 2015

As political parties debate the future of the NHS today, the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) has called for charities to be put at the heart of the next government’s health plans.

CAF's research shows that charities play a major role in providing health and social care across Britain. Almost one in five people have received medical care from a charity in their lifetime, and more than one pound in every four given to charity (28% of all donations) went to health and medical causes last year. The expenditure of the top ten health charities amounted to more than £1 billion in 2014.

CAF helps people and businesses support the causes they care about, and provides financial services designed for the charitable sector.

John Low, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said:

“It is quite right that the future of the NHS is proving to be such a key issue in the major political parties’ election campaigns. However, there has so far been little recognition given to the huge role that charities play in supporting our health service.

"Millions of people rely on health support from charities which provide a £2.5 billion annual lifeline to the NHS and have the potential to transform health and social care services.

“Earlier this year we saw charities stepping in to provide volunteers in our most overburdened A&E departments. But the proper management of our health service cannot rely on the good will of volunteers or crisis measures.

“If we are to have a strong and thriving health service, the next government must put charities at the heart of it."

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