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I will bring serious leadership and rigorous scrutiny as Health and Social Care Select Committee chair

I will bring serious leadership and rigorous scrutiny as Health and Social Care Select Committee chair

(Stephen Hammond)

3 min read

I am standing to be the next chair of the Health and Social Care Select Committee as I believe the challenges facing our health and care systems today require not only serious leadership, but rigorous scrutiny.

I have served as a minister in the department, and I know first-hand the challenges we face. I promise to be an independent, fair, and constructive chair. 

The government has set out its priorities: A. ambulances, B. Backlog, C. Care, and D. Doctors and Dentists. The reality and detail of the government’s plans will need detailed scrutiny. We all want to see a clear plan from government, but it must be realistic and deliverable.

The job is so much more than criticism, it is to help formulate policy and solutions

The role of the select committee is to hold to account, challenge, investigate, and scrutinise the Department of Health and Social Care. But the job is so much more than criticism, it is to help formulate policy and solutions.

If I am elected as chair, I plan to focus the committee’s efforts on four areas: primary care, health inequalities and health outcomes, workforce planning for health and social care, and the NHS’s digital transformation.

The current problems with primary care provision and health inequalities hold back our health service from delivering the best quality of care possible and I want to ensure that the department tackles these challenges.

Social care and the differing levels of provision based on location and providers mean that the quality of care is often too variable.

I am committed to the delivery of a sustainable workforce plan which supports NHS professionals and focuses on retention, not just recruitment. We must have a plan on how we train health and social care professionals which should lead to clear career progressions. Our health and care services rely on their professionals who must feel valued and be working in a 21st century environment. The United Kingdom is competing in a global market for the best healthcare talent, we must ensure that our offer is attractive.

We must preserve and enhance our world leading life sciences status by ensuring DHSC has a vision for the UK life sciences eco system.  The UK life sciences industry leads the world thanks to our outstanding universities and our great tradition of prioritising innovation and research. I am committed to working with our great researchers to ensure that the DHSC prioritises life sciences research and development.

NHS England and NHS Digital are merging in January. The committee must ensure that the NHS is able to make the most of this change and the opportunities that Big Data allows. We need to ensure that data is properly integrated into existing systems to improve outcomes and enhances healthcare workers ability to do their jobs. We should make wearable tech an asset to our health service whilst protecting people’s privacy. There is clamour for data to be the answer to all our problems we need to build the workforce and the resources to meet the needs of our country in the 21st century.

I would bring experience, independence, and rigorous scrutiny to the select committee should I be successful. I hope colleagues will support me.

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