Norman Lamb writes… NHS needs an extra £1.5 billion

nhs sign lrgFor too long mental health has been seen as a second-class issue in the NHS and I am determined to change that.

Today I’ve called for up to an extra £1.5 billion to be invested in the NHS next April. A significant amount of that money would go towards improving mental health services, especially for children and young people.

At our party conference in Glasgow, Nick Clegg said the Liberal Democrats will spend at least £1bn extra on health and care in each year of the next parliament, including £500m each year for mental health.

The commitment we made to increase health spending in real terms has been achieved every year since 2010-11. And compared with 2010, we are delivering 850,000 more operations every year. This summer the independent Commonwealth Fund assessed the NHS as the top healthcare system out of the world’s 11 richest countries. The NHS is performing better than it ever has done before.

And two weeks ago NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens set out a clear plan for how we can improve and protect health and care services for the future – joining up care for patients with complex health needs, and looking after more people in the community.

But he also made clear that, with a significant funding gap projected, our health and care system needs more money so it can continue to provide excellent care in future.

Too often politicians delay big spending decisions in the hope they become someone else’s problem. Doing that would betray patients. Independent organisations like the NHS Confederation, the King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust have made clear that significantly more funding is needed to transform and improve health and care services.

Without this money, the NHS could crash. Hospitals, ambulance services, doctors, and care services are all under increasing pressure as the numbers of people needing care and support continue to rise because of our ageing population and more living with long-term conditions. The NHS needs significantly more money to help services adapt to the changing needs of patients and it can’t afford to wait.

The Liberal Democrats are the only party with a clear plan for improvement from the bottom up, joining up health and care at a local level to give people care closer to home.

But if you want to see health and care services protected for the future, with more investment in mental health and care in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, we need your support.

Freeing up to an extra £1.5 billion is the first step towards making sure we continue to create a fairer society, with opportunity for everyone.

* Norman Lamb is MP for North Norfolk and was Liberal Democrat Minister of State at the Department of Health until May 2015. He now chairs the Science and Technology Select Committee

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7 Comments

  • stop paying EU stop CERN stop waist and we have more than that to sort NHS out

  • Stephen Donnelly 12th Nov '14 - 8:42pm

    The headline is misleading the NHS needs much more than that.

    According to the Five Year Forward View published recently by the NHS cheif executive Simon Stevens,
    the NHS will have a funded gap of £30 billion per year by 2020/2021. He plans to close this by £22 billion pounds worth of savings which will mean savings of 4% per EVERY YEAR, and £8 billion of extra funding every year, phased in as the economy recovers.

    The current proposals put forward by Norman Lamb do not explain where the savings will come from, The current long term average is a saving of 0.8% per annum. A jump to 4% will mean big changes.

    Even if they are achieved there is still a funding gap.

    All the political parties are pretending that the increases in spending they are proposing will improve the NHS. All of them know that they are insufficient by themselves to preserve the current service.

    The proposals being put forward by Norman Lamb are just less bad than those being put forward by Labour and Conservatives.

    This is not a way to restore public trust in politicians.

  • Robert Wootton 12th Nov '14 - 9:48pm

    If government did not impose so much stress on its citizens vis a vis dealing with government departments’ cockups. For example; WTC over and underpayments, JSA imposing unfair penalties, The solution for coping with these stresses is to develop a mental illness or become an alcoholic or drug addict or comfort eat and become obese. Then people will qualify for disability benefit.
    that the majority ofus

    As Russel Brand says in is book Revolution, his drug taking was the right response to the world he was living in.

    The world of poverty that the majority of our citizens live in. And the world of unfairness that all our citizens live in.

    If the Liberal Democrats have the political will to create a Fair Economy, a Strong, cohesive Society will be the result.

    The NHS nagging the people, telling them what to eat, to exercise more, don’t smoke, don’t drink is just another of stress that alienates people from a bullying Big Brother government and a nagging Big Mother NHS,

    Smoking, drinking and eating junk food is for many people “the pleasures of life”, Exhorting people to stop will not work. Creating a Just Society where poverty is designed out of our man made political and economic system will increase the wealth of all and reduce the demands on the NHS and increase the funding available

  • Robert Wootton 12th Nov '14 - 9:57pm

    My apologies for the “hanging” half sentence and leaving out the word “source” from the penultimate paragraph, “source of stress” is the phrase that should be in the sentence.

  • Matthew Huntbach 13th Nov '14 - 10:29am

    Norman Lamb

    Too often politicians delay big spending decisions in the hope they become someone else’s problem.

    Indeed. Or put out some hand-wavy “there must be some efficiency savings you can make somewhere, so we’ll leave it up to you to make them” line, as coming out from the Secretary of State for Health today. In other words “We’ll pass the buck for making the difficult decisions to you”.

    There may be efficiency savings, yes, but relying on them while leaving it to others to actually find them is very bad management. Especially as this same line has been used year-in, year-out for decades, so one might suppose the easy ones have now been made.

    So what actually happens is that those lower down, left with the actual responsibility of making the cuts, end up doing things which meet the actual budget requirements immediately, but have knock-on higher costs later on, maybe falling on someone else, maybe going back to central government. E.g. save money by sacking people, then you’ve done your bit and central government find they have to pay more in dole money, landlord subsidy (aka Housing Benefit) etc.

  • Matthew Huntbach 13th Nov '14 - 10:32am

    Robert Wooton

    As Russel Brand says in is book Revolution, his drug taking was the right response to the world he was living in.

    Well, that’s easy to say if you’ve got a nice job in the entertainment industry which has made you a millionaire. Most people don’t have that sort of job, and so can’t just go out and damage themselves by drug taking the way this well-known sexual bully did.

  • We have £1.5 billion of bank fines that lets be honest is tax payers money anyway how about using that

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