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Liz questions Health Secretary on NHS long term plan

[08/01/2019 | No comment]

NHS England published its long term plan on 7 January. I have long campaigned for many of its goals, including tackling health inequalities, shifting the focus of care towards prevention and early intervention, joining up NHS services with social care, making better use of technology, improving the involvement of patients, families and the public, and securing parity of esteem between mental and physical health. But Government policies have made many of these goals impossible to achieve.  

Annual real terms growth of 3.4% a year for the next five years is lower than the NHS’s historic average of 4% a year and much less than the 7.4% annual real terms growth under the last Labour Government. The public sector pay freeze, slashing nurse bursaries, and increased pressure on staff due to years of underfunding has led to serious staff shortages.

We need a long-term NHS and social care plan backed with proper resources and a workforce strategy that genuinely supports all staff. In particular we need a long-term funding settlement for social care.

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