Lib Dem Health Spokesman Norman Lamb MP who is working with people of all Parties and none to try and build a consensus on health and care spending
At our Spring Conference to be held in March in York we will be discussing the following resolution about the health and social care crisis which is threatening to engulf our ill and elderly.
As you might expect the motion echoes many of the things that I have been saying in my blogs on the issues in recent months. Put simply we are not coming up with simple answers in this motion because there aren’t any. Just putting more money into the system will mean us continuing to spend money on things which are not priorities and in ways that are not sensible.
That is why the most important aspect of the motion is to try and establish an all-Party working group to try and achieve a consensus on what is required and how to fund it.
We also expect that the independent committee that Norman Lamb has established to look at these issues will make an interim report looking at its key areas of enquiry and set the base line for the money that it believes is necessary for health and social care in the short and medium term.
As ever please let me know here or at my e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org what you think of this motion.
F8 The Crisis in Health and Social Care
Mover: Norman Lamb MP (Shadow Secretary of State for Health)
Summation: Cllr Richard Kemp CBE, Lib Dem Spokesperson on Health & Social Care, Local Government Association
- The crisis in the NHS and care services which has seen hundreds of urgent operations cancelled this winter, a steep rise in the number of hospitals issuing emergency alerts, and people regularly being diverted from A&E departments because services cannot keep pace with demand.
- The warning from the Health Foundation, The King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust that a combination of cuts and rising demand will leave adult social care facing a £1.9bn funding gap this year, and the projected gap could reach at least £2.6bn by 2020; and that nearly two thirds of NHS Trusts ended the last financial year in deficit.
- That the Government’s only response to the social care funding crisis has been to suggest that councils will be allowed to further increase the ‘social care precept’, raised through the regressive council tax – a move which will worsen the postcode lottery of care; and that they have failed to give the NHS the additional funding promised at the last election
- That short-sighted decisions from the Government to cut community pharmacy budgets and public health grants to local government will only serve to increase pressures on primary and secondary care
- That the Government has failed to ensure that all the additional funding for children’s mental health, secured by the Liberal Democrats in 2015, is spent as intended, and that the goal of equality for those who suffer from mental ill-health is still a long way from being achieved.
- That the negative economic consequences of leaving the EU and the risks of losing dedicated health and care workers from other European countries will pose additional challenges for health and care services.
Conference believes that:
- The NHS and care services are some of our most vital institutions and we should always fight to protect and safeguard them for future generations.
- That these services face critical funding and capacity pressures and that politicians need to be honest with the public about the tough decisions needed to address them – including the possibility of raising additional revenue through taxation.
- That inordinate pressures placed on staff by a combination of these factors, have also led to serious problems with staff recruitment and retention.
- That the Government cannot continue to ask the health and care system to do more without sufficient extra resource, including forcing through plans for seven-day opening of GP surgeries, when many already struggle to stay open during normal ‘core’ hours.
- That building a more sustainable, efficient and joined-up health and care system which can provide high-quality care cannot be realised without putting aside party political point-scoring.
Conference calls for:
- The Government to establish a cross party NHS and Care Convention to engage with the public, patients, staff, professional bodies, local government and trade unions from across the health and care sector and civic society with the objective of agreeing a long-term settlement for the NHS and care services.
- An injection of additional emergency funding for health and care services to be delivered over the next year to keep services from the brink of collapse; this funding should be directed in particular to social care and mental health services, as well as invested in improving integration between health and social care, modernising services, supporting general practice and all out of hospital care, and improving efficiency in the longer term.
- Any EU citizen working in NHS and care services to be guaranteed the right to continue to live and work in the UK, following Brexit