A cross-party commission to review future funding and structure of health and care services in England, has been proposed in the House of Commons. Norman Lamb proposed the commission under the Ten Minute Rule Bill.
The commission has been welcomed by the NHS Confederation, as has previously called for an in-depth review of funding for the NHS and the wider care system. The NHS Confederation proposed last year that the Government should establish an independent Office for Budgetary Responsibility in Health (OBRH), to produce evidence-based forecasts on different health spending scenarios.
NHS Confederation’s Chair, Stephen Dorrell, has written to Norman Lamb expressing his support. In his letter, he outlines four arguments that he believes support the case for ‘a new Beveridge Report,’ which Norman Lamb had called for in his party conference speech in September 2015:
- The need to develop new funding and management structures that deliver more joined-up and supportive care, reflecting the needs of individuals.
- The implications of the less than 10% growth in public funding for health and social care versus the expected 50% increase in cumulative demand, and the ‘artificial distinction’ between health and social care.
- Ensuring time is ‘well spent’ on working out an agreed framework for the commission on a cross-party basis, to ensure ‘sufficient breadth of political and professional support.’
- The need to consider how ‘the whole health and care spend’ can be used to get best value for public money.