Dorrell urges protection for public health and social care funds

10 Nov 15

Former health secretary Stephen Dorrell has called for social care and public health funding to be protected in the forthcoming Spending Review, saying to cut these budgets while increasing NHS spending would be “bad economics and bad social policy”.

In a letter to chancellor George Osborne, Dorrell – now chair of the NHS Confederation – said there a “critical leap of logic” was needed to ensure other budget areas are protected.

“To have NHS budgets rise while social care budgets fall is bad economics and bad social policy,” Dorrell wrote.

“Without investment in social care and public health, unnecessary pressure is being placed on other parts of the service, including hospitals leaving an already significant dent in the £8bn promised to the NHS. Reshaping how care is delivered to patients must be a priority for this parliament.”

Dorrell, who chaired the Commons health select committee during the last parliament, said yesterday’s announcement that some departments had reached Spending Review deals showed “there is no time to waste”.

He added: “In the Spending Review the government must take a bold step to ring-fence budgets for health and social care and make the commitment to transforming patient care a reality.”

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