Norman Lamb MP: Government responsibility for fresh healthcare thinking
Minister for Care and Support Norman Lamb called for innovation and fresh ideas on how to meet the growing challenges in health and social care in his remarks to the Health Care Forum reception on Sunday evening.
Lamb told delegates at the Health Care Forum that democratic politics only worked when interest groups – such as the members of the Forum – were actively engaged in the future of policymaking.
Lamb praised the Liberal Democrat health team of Baroness Jolly, who was also in attendance, and Paul Burstow, before going on to say it was currently a “time of extraordinary challenge” in healthcare.
Whilst the conscious decision had been made to protect NHS funding, he admitted that local government spending at the care end of the spectrum had been particularly difficult, and such policy was not sustainable without “bad consequences”.
He said he was pleased his party had agreed to reopen the spending review for healthcare, adding that all indicators showed more money was needed for 2015/16.
The plan was for the deficit to be under control by 2017/18 and from then on, Lamb said, public service funding should grow with the economy, something his party leader Nick Clegg was committed to.
He said there were major challenges ahead, particularly given the growing ageing population. “We all have an absolute responsibility to think afresh about how we do things” to sustain the healthcare system, he said, and that he would be saying something related to this in his speech to conference on Tuesday.
Drawing his comments to a close Lamb reiterated that the engagement from members of the Health Care Forum was valued, and that “collectively we have the skills that can meet these challenges together”.
This report was written by Felicity Cooke, health and care specialist at Dods Monitoring