Ex ministers call for independent health and care commission

6 Jan 16

Two former health secretaries and the former Liberal Democrat care minister Norman Lamb have issued a joint call for a cross-party commission into the health and social care crisis.

Lamb has secured the backing of Alan Milburn, who was Labour health secretary under Tony Blair between 1999 and 2003, and Stephen Dorrell, Conservative health secretary under John Major between 1995 and 1997.

They are calling for a “Beveridge Report” for the 21st century, and therefore the first of its kind since the creation of the NHS and welfare state. It would aim to engage NHS staff, care workers, members of the public and civic society.

“The NHS and social care face an existential crisis. Demand for services continues to rise year on year but funding is failing to keep up. The position in social care is perhaps even more serious,” Lamb said.

“Growing pressures on services are so severe that all parties must come together to fundamentally re-think how we can guarantee the future of the NHS and social care services.

“The government cannot avoid this issue any longer. Establishing this commission will show they are serious about protecting these vital public services.”

Lamb, who is the only one of the three to remain an MP, is also introducing a 10 Minute Rule Bill to call for an investigation into the funding gap faced by the health and care sectors.

  • Vivienne Russell

    Vivienne Russell is managing editor of Public Finance magazine and publicfinance.co.uk

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