MS-03: Long Term National Health Service Funding

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Sir Jack Anderson
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MS-03: Long Term National Health Service Funding

Post by Sir Jack Anderson »

Madam Speaker,

I rise today to inform the House of action I have taken today to ensure there is a comprehensive review into the funding needs of our National Health Service and how the government intends to proceed with this.

The National Health Service is Labour’s crowning achievement and encapsulates not just the best of Labour’s values but the best of Britain’s values. In it, we send a message that we in Britain can come together and provide for each other as one nation and that through the strength of our common endeavour as a country we can ensure healthcare is available for all and that nobody loses out.

The National Health Service has been there for everyone when we have needed it. Many of us will have started our life there and many of us will be treated throughout their life there. It commands immense affection amongst the British public, and ensuring it is sufficiently funded will be my priority as Chancellor. It is imperative we deliver a strong health service, for its users and for its staff.

As Members of this House know, when this government came into power we made it clear the scale of ambition we had in revitalising the health service after nearly two decades of underfunding. Though Labour met its initial promise to get 100,000 patients off waiting lists, we know if we want a health service fit for the future, we must go further.

Labour’s pledge in the recent election was simple: that no one in the United Kingdom should wait no more than three months for outpatient appointments and no more than six months for inpatient appointments. We have agreed this requires a two-pronged approach. One part of that approach would be reforms to ensure the NHS worked more efficiently, another to ensure that it was met with the necessary funding to meet this target. We were clear to the British people that this would require substantial funding and we were elected on a mandate to supply said funding.

What is also clear, though, is that social care increasingly comes under more pressure. As our population is expected to age, we can expect more pressure to be put on our social care system. This government does not want to kick the can down the road and confront this problem once it is too late: we need answers now on the level of funding we need, and then a discussion as a country on how we can deliver on that funding settlement to ensure we do not let down Britons who need care and support when that pressure starts to hit our social care system.

Madam Speaker, to get to the bottom of both issues I have established a commission. The commission will explore the funding necessary for Labour to meet its NHS targets in this Parliament and then to the funding that would be necessary in the next Parliament to, at the bare minimum, maintain such quality: roughly, the funding our National Health Service needs over the next decade, and the funding we would need to secure so that we can guarantee a strong and responsive social care system and model of funding until 2030. Once we are idea for the level of funding needed for such services, the commission will also outline options for how that level of funding can be met.

I have asked two upstanding Parliamentarians to co-chair the commission to guarantee that the findings come from cross party sources. Firstly, I have asked Baron Randice, as a former Chair of the Treasury Select Committee and the Member of Parliament for Broxbourne, who had previously chaired the Health Select Committee. I am pleased that both expected and will be getting to work immediately. There is much that separates both co-chairs of the commission, as individuals with different backgrounds, of different parties and from vastly different ideological traditions. But there is one thing that unites them: expertise, a commitment to sound finances and a commitment to our fantastic National Health Service.

Both have agreed that they expect to deliver those findings within a year. The government will then release those findings publicly and swiftly act to ensure that we put it to the public how they would like to see those funding commitments met, with the options outlined within the commission presented to a citizen’s jury and the findings and the recommendation of the citizen’s jury considered by the government. Naturally, I will be outlining to the House the establishment and findings of this at a more reasonable date.

It is my intention that we can unite behind our fantastic National Health Service, Madam Speaker, and then have the public debate necessary to deliver for it. But I make one solid commitment to the British people today: this government is dedicated to our NHS and will ensure, in a fiscally responsible manner, we can give it the funding it needs to be the world leading health service the British people treasure and love.
Sir Jack Anderson
Labour Party.
Member of Parliament for Southampton Test
Chair of the Treasury Select Committee. (2000-2001)
Chancellor of the Exchequer. (2001-)
First Secretary of State. (2001-)
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Re: MS-03: Long Term National Health Service Funding

Post by Marty »

Madame Speaker

Time's up! The House shall turn its attention to other matters.
Dr. Marty of the A-team
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Re: MS-03: Long Term National Health Service Funding

Post by Blakesley »

MS-03: Long Term National Health Service Funding

This is a bland statement overall, but Sir Jack outlines the stresses facing the NHS (and social care) in the years ahead and notes that something must be done about it. While some may characterise this as "New Labour doublespeak" the lack of a response is a missed opportunity for the Opposition, which could have opened up a few lines of attack and blunt the notion that Labour is the party that cares about the NHS.

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