Welcome to the Lib Dem Health and Care Association!

One of the great things about the Liberal Democrats is that whatever you’re interested in, there’s a group of like-minded people you can join to talk about it and exchange ideas with. Interested in the environment and climate change – join Green Lib Dems. Interested in Europe – join the Lib Dem European Group. Business your area? Join the Lib Dem Business and Entrepreneurs Network. From the Humanist & Secularist Lib Dems and the Lib Dem Christian Forum, all the way to the Lib Dem Friends of Vegans and Vegetarians, and the low-intensity Swiftian battle between the Lib Dem Friends of Cake and the Lib Dem Friends of Biscuits, there is a group seemingly for every possible interest.

Except until now there has never been an interest group for those with an interest in social care and health, as clinical or other professionals, patients or carers. To tackle this significant gap, over the last couple of years efforts have been under way to set up the Lib Dem Health and Care Association (also to incorporate the former Lib Health Mental Health Association). Thanks to the unsung efforts of several people, the LDHCA is now fully established, and recently held the first elections to its executive committee. The team now elected, under Lee Dargue as Chair, will be working hard to bring together Lib Dems with experience and expertise in social care and health. (We’re also on the lookout for a treasurer and a secretary: if you might be interested please email Lee at [email protected]

The new association should help the party in a number of ways. First, it should be a place for those with a professional or other interest in health and social care to come together. This should be a useful place for discussing ideas and developments in the health and social care world, and how Liberal Democrats should respond. In a complex health and social care landscape, undergoing difficult and unpredictable change with, it has to be said, a tortured and often frankly bizarre relationship with its theoretical legislative framework, this will be valuable. Secondly, this should be a useful focus point for exchanging and contributing ideas with our spokespeople on social care and health, at council and parliamentary level. And finally, I hope it will be a useful platform for Lib Dems to go out to others in the NHS and social care world and show them that as a party we have the most powerful and effective ideas for the future of these services, and bringing them towards us.

There is good reason to think that we have an appealing offer here: it is notable that two of the highest profile of the party’s 30,000 odd new members in the last year or so are health specialists: Sarah Wollaston MP (chair of the health select committee and GP) and Stephen Dorrell (chair of the NHS Confederation and former secretary of state for health and chair of the health select committee). And of course it builds on the excellent platform for our social care and health policy that we agreed in Bournemouth a couple of weeks ago: Save the NHS and Social Care by Stopping Brexit.

The creation of LDHCA fills an important gap in the party’s range of interest groups, and one which will provide exciting and engaging opportunities for party members and others to take part in the debate on the future of these ever-more essential public services.

If you are interested in the NHS or social care, as a service user, patient, carer, staff or clinical professional, please do consider joining us in the LDHCA – currently free here.

* Jeremy Hargreaves is a vice chair of Federal Policy Committee

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This entry was posted in Op-eds and Party policy and internal matters.
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5 Comments

  • Obviously one must welcome such an initiative because this is an extremely important and critical area ……. but how was it formed, who is running it, and to whom is it accountable ?

    As a former Convenor and Cabinet Member for Social I’d like to ask is it truly representative (where appropriate) of all the countries and regions of the UK… or is it a London based mates chumocracy ?

  • Jeremy Hargreaves 14th Oct '19 - 2:21pm

    Hi David Thanks for the question. There’s been a group coming together to help create this for about two years now, with a view to getting it all set up and get expressions of interest from people. There has also been I think an interim executive – I wasn’t myself involved until just now.

    What has happened now is that there has just been the first open elections to the executive, with the new executive just now formed (including me as one of two vice chairs, alongside Mohsin Khan). We haven’t all met yet so I’m not really in a position to say where everyone comes from yet. I am hoping the full team will be up shortly at http://ldhealthandcare.org/ldmha-executive/

    But I am in a position to say – please come and join us!

  • Agree with David R. Being interested in economic/business policy I just looked on the Lib Dem Business and Entepreneurs website (as mentioned above). Full membership is £2,500 p.a., associate membership £1,000 p.a. No, those are not typos.
    We need to ensure that any affiliated organisation bearing the Lib Dem name and logo is truly open to all.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 16th Oct '19 - 2:14pm

    David

    I have been in the facebook group nearly a couple of years, no mystery, it belongs to all party colleagues interested in healthcare etc

    Chris

    Liberal Democrats in business is the group for all members, free to join on facebook, some events have a charge such as a dinner, the above referenced organisation is for really involved fundraising in the party, not really issue related

    Jeremy

    D we as facebook members have to pay now?

  • Jeremy Hargreaves 17th Oct '19 - 12:01pm

    Hi Lorenzo No plans for this at the moment, but the new team needs to get our feet under the table and work out plans for the future.

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