Former Health Minister Caroline Flint has called on the Government to establish an NHS and Care Convention.
The Don Valley MP is one of more than 20 MPs launching a major campaign calling on the Government to establish an NHS and Care Convention to find a long-term solution to the crisis in health and social care funding.
The launch of the campaign is strengthened by an open letter to the Prime Minister, signed by 75 health and care organisations, urging her to pursue a cross-party process.
Said Caroline: “The health and social care system in England is facing huge long term challenges, which will not go away, whomever was in Government.
“If we fail to find a solution to this crisis more and more vulnerable people will be put at risk; and elderly people in need of care services, disabled people who need support and people with long-term illnesses, including mental ill health conditions, will fail to get the support they need.
“Building a sustainable health and care system that can provide high-quality care require long term commitments that go beyond one election or one term of Government.
“The public would welcome politicians of all parties committing to a fair long term solution that protects our NHS and care system.
“It speaks volumes that so many Members of Parliament from across the political spectrum are backing this initiative.
I hope the Prime Minister agrees to meet with us to listen to our proposal.”
Members of the public can support the campaign by signing up to an online petition on the UK Government and Parliament Petitions website.
A separate letter, which has been co-ordinated by Independent Age, is backed by charities, professional bodies and other organisations across the health and care sector including the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), Care England, The Patients’ Association, The Royal College of GPs, The Royal College of Nursing, and Marie Curie.
The open letter warns 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.” The letter recognises that a long-term solution cannot be owned by one party, and demands a cross-party process which is:
- 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.
Caroline signed the following MPs’ statement
There is now a widespread recognition that the NHS and the social care system are under unsustainable strain, and that the pressures on the system are increasing and we will see failures of care. The consequences of this for many highly vulnerable people are very serious. We note that it is estimated that over a million older people in need of social care are not getting the care or support they need.
We welcome the Prime Minister’s focus on mental health, but also recognise that we will never achieve genuine equal treatment for those with mental ill health for so long as the whole system is under such financial pressure.
We are also concerned about the impact that these pressures are placing on staff in the NHS and the care system.
We recognise the importance of confronting this challenge and we accept that this transcends narrow party politics. A system designed to meet the needs of the population of this country in the 1940s is in need of renewal. It is not our intention to seek to blame any particular government or political party. Our aim is to find a sustainable solution that will have genuine cross-party support for the future.
In recognition of the scale of these challenges, we join together to launch a campaign to encourage the Government to establish a cross-party NHS and Care Convention to examine the future funding requirements of these cherished services and agree a new, long-term settlement to guarantee their sustainability for future generations and to ensure that this country has one of the best health and care systems in the world.
Now is the time for the Government to start a national conversation involving the public, civic society, healthcare professionals, carers and other experts.
We are pleased to note the call from over 70 health and care organisations including Medical Royal Colleges, charities and trade unions for the Prime Minister to initiate a cross party process.
There is a real urgency about this. The time to act is now, and we need the process completed within a clearly defined timescale.
Vulnerable people will be at risk if we do not confront this growing crisis, and we urge the Government to take immediate action in the interests of the country.
Norman Lamb MP, Dan Poulter MP, Liz Kendall MP, Sarah Wollaston MP, Meg Hillier MP, Clive Betts MP,
Frank Field MP, Nick Clegg MP, Andrew Murrison MP, Caroline Flint MP, Chuka Umunna MP,
Jeremy Lefroy MP, Lisa Nandy MP, Tom Brake MP, Heidi Allen MP, Sarah Olney MP, Peter Bone MP
Greg Mulholland MP, Johnny Mercer MP, Ivan Lewis MP, Mark Williams MP, John Pugh MP,
Stephen McPartland MP.
Other signatories include: Alan Milburn, former Health Secretary, Stephen Dorrell, former Health Secretary