This week former health and shadow health ministers from three major political parties joined together to renew their call for an independent, cross party commission on the future of health and social care.
Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb, Labour MP Liz Kendall and Conservative MP Dr Daniel Poulter issued a joint statement highlighting the fundamental challenges facing our health and care services. They stated that under current spending plans, unacceptable gaps in our health and social care system will “leave many elderly and disabled people without adequate support”.
All three are clear that if we are to have health and care services which provide high quality care to those who need it, a new long-term plan is needed. They see an independent cross-party commission – involving the public and staff in a national conversation – as a vital step towards achieving such a settlement.
This call came just a week after the organisation NHS Providers wrote to the Chair of the Health Select Committee to “sound a warning bell” over the ability of the NHS to meet the challenges it faces within the funding provided.
Chris Hopson, the head of NHS Providers, warned that it is no longer possible for the NHS to provide the right quality care within current funding arrangements. Either more funding is needed or NHS services will be forced to make “stark” and “unpalatable” choices about what the NHS can be expected to provide. He emphasised the need for an “open, honest, realistic, national level debate” to establish a way forward for the NHS.
A consensus is growing. Our health and care services are facing an unprecedented crisis and if we are to ensure people can receive the support they need we need a long-term, sustainable plan.
Our Care for Tomorrow campaign provides a voice for the public to support the call for a commission on the future of health a social care as a vital first step to achieving this. You can sign up to support our campaign here.