Lamb says Government needs to ‘see sense’ over commission for future of NHS

Responding to Government comments in the Lords that they will not support a cross-party commission to secure the future of the NHS and social care, Norman Lamb, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson, said:

It is extremely disappointing to hear Lord Prior rule out the idea of a cross-party commission to secure the future of our NHS and care services this morning. Former Health Ministers from across the political spectrum agree that a commission is necessary, as do numerous patient groups, think tanks and medical royal colleges.

For the Minister to dismiss this idea out of hand will leave many people incredulous that he seems unaware of the scale of the challenge. Is he in denial of what is happening around the country?

I will keep campaigning for a commission to secure the long-term future of our vital health and care services, until the Government see sense.

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  • Tony Dawson 22nd Jan '16 - 6:26pm

    I agree with Norman.

    On Thursday next, I shall be moving a motion at Sefton Council seeking all party support for this commission. I hope that other Lib Dem groups will take similar moves. There is a lot of lip service paid to cross-party co-operation and it is worth fleshing out which politicians are really serious about it.

  • Chris Rennard 23rd Jan '16 - 12:31am

    It is somewhat ironic that Lord (David) Prior, the Health Minister in the Lords, who was unsympathetic to Norman’s proposal for a cross party commission on the NHS, was the person that Norman defeated to win North Norfolk in 2001. A previous Health Minister, Norman Fowler, was much more sympathetic to the proposal, although he wanted a Royal Commission to work specifically on how to finance the NHS. Lord Prior, amongst others. was mindful that we have already had reviews (such as the Wanless Review for Gordon Brown) and the more recent King’s Fund Commission (chaired by Kate Barker and which did some excellent work highlighting the funding problems.

    There were many excellent contributions from the Lib Dem benches in the debate referred from Sal Brinton, Joan Walmsley, Claire Tyler, Shirley Williams, Sarah Ludford, Dick Taverne -and I tried to set out why we are facing such a big problem financing NHS and social care.

    This is the link to the debate in Hansard:

  • Ruth Bright 23rd Jan '16 - 9:27am

    If a cross-party commission came about we would need a representative who could command the respect of the whole party.

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