latest health care news

20.11.17

Cross-party MPs call on government for long-term settlement for NHS

Calls for an NHS and Care Convention have the support of 90 MPs, including Tories.

The MPs have collectively sent a letter to Theresa May and Philip Hammond pushing for a cross-party convention, to deliver a sustainable long-term settlement for the NHS and social care system.

The letter was sent by Sarah Wollaston, chair of the Commons health committee, Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat former care minister, and Liz Kendall, Labour’s former shadow care minister.

Lamb shared the letter on Twitter, which argued that “conventional partisan politics” had failed to address the “enormous challenges” faced by the NHS and care systems.

Whilst acknowledging that fixing the pressures faced by the services will require difficult choices, the authors of the letter said that there is a “real urgency” to do so, claiming that patients are “too often failed” by the system, which is under “considerable strain.”

Ministers first met to discuss the proposals back in February, but plans were “interrupted” by the General Election.

Following the CQC’s report earlier this year, ‘The state of health care and adult social care in England 2016/17,’ which said that the systems are being stretched to the limit and struggling to meet the needs of the population, the MPs warned that the need for action is now “greater than ever.”

They have urged the government to address the short term pressures experienced by the services, and to establish a cross-party process.

The letter said: “We are all committed to assist in finding an agreed way forward.

“We believe that together we owe a duty to the people of this country to confront the serious challenges the NHS and the care system now face.”

It continued: “This would give hope to both the public and staff working in the NHS and the social care system, many of whom have real anxieties about the future sustainability of vital services.”

In a series of tweets, Sarah Wollaston said that the chancellor “must listen to the clear warnings about the consequences for patients if we of not provide and immediate uplift in this budget.”

Referencing the decision to delay the delivery of the much anticipated social care green paper until summer 2018, Wollaston added: “Current plans to kick social care into the long grass (again) and to separate planning for young and older adults creates even further fragmentation.

“Essential to think about whole system of NHS and care.”

Top image:  Peter Byrne, PA Images edit

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