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Thu, 4 June 2020

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Calls for Prime Minister to begin cross-party process on health and care funding continue

Calls for Prime Minister to begin cross-party process on health and care funding continue

Independent Age

4 min read Member content

After last week's calls from MPs for a cross-party agreement on health and social care funding, 75 leading organisations pressure Theresa May to find a sustainable solution to the crisis in a joint letter published today.


Theresa May must urgently begin a cross-party process to find a long-term solution to the current crisis in health and social care funding. That’s the call in an open letter to the Prime Minister signed by 75 organisations and leading voices in the sector including Independent Age, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), Care England, Patients Association, Royal College of GPs, Royal College of Nursing, Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers (SOLACE), Leonard Cheshire Disability, Marie Curie and RNIB.

The letter warns that “2017 simply cannot be another year where these huge issues are ducked” and that unless the Prime Minister takes “a bolder approach millions of older, ill and disabled people and their carers will continue to be badly let down.”

This builds on calls last week from three Select Committee Chairs, Sarah Wollaston MP (Health Committee), Meg Hillier MP (Public Accounts Committee) and Clive Betts MP (Communities and Local Government Committee) for a cross-party agreement on health and social care funding.

The joint letter from organisations across the health and social care sector is published on the day that Norman Lamb MP launches a group of MPs calling for a cross-party approach on health and social care funding.

Today’s letter adds the voice of significant charities, organisations and leading voices working in health and social care to those of MPs, and sets out what kind of a cross-party agreement should be sought.

The 75 organisations and leading voices signed up to the letter are clear that the cross-party process must recommend clear actions that have the support of all parties, and that will ultimately make a difference to the lives of many older, ill and disabled people who rely on health and care services.

This cross-party process must begin immediately to find a sustainable solution to the problems in health and social care funding and have the political will behind it to deliver meaningful change. The letter states that the process “should recognise that just as no one party should be blamed for the current challenges, nor can a genuinely long term solution be owned only by one party.”

The open letter calls for the cross-party process to be:

  • Inclusive: established by the government with meaningful cross-party engagement
  • Open: listening to the public and professionals who use and work in these services every day
  • Urgent: ensuring the cross-party process gets underway without delay.

Janet Morrison, Chief Executive of Independent Age, the older people’s charity, said:

“We have heard many times that there needs to be a long-term solution on health and social care, yet we have heard no details from Government as to what that solution may be. The failure of successive governments to act on this issue means that many of the most vulnerable people in society cannot get the care and support they need.

“By 2030, it is estimated that there will be nearly 16 million people in the UK aged 65 and over. Brave thinking is required from all sides of the political divide to meet the needs of our ageing population. We need to see recommendations that make a difference to the millions of people who rely on health and care services now and in the future.”

Norman Lamb MP, a former Minister at the Department for Health and the Liberal Democrat spokesperson on health and social care said:

“The health and social care system in England is facing unprecedented challenges. Failing to find a solution to this crisis puts some of the most vulnerable people at risk – frail and elderly people in need of care services, disabled people who need support and people with long-term illnesses.

Building a sustainable health and care system that can provide the kind of high-quality care people expect can’t be realised without putting aside party political point-scoring.

That is why I’m supporting this call by Independent Age and a coalition of organisations across the health and care sector and I’m launching a cross-party group of MPs that will campaign specifically for agreement on health and social care funding.”

On Wednesday 11 January, Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, gives evidence to the Public Accounts Committee on the financial sustainability of the NHS.

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