Social care campaign secures constructive talks with Theresa May
Open letter, which included signatories from City, helps to secure meeting with the Prime Minister on the issue
Norman Lamb and a number of other MPs have held constructive talks with the Prime Minister about the urgent need to begin a cross-party process to find a long-term solution to the current crisis in health and social care funding.
The talks followed an open letter signed by 75 organisations and leading voices in the care sector, including prominent academic nurse Professor Julienne Meyer CBE and the Rt Hon Visiting Professor Paul Burstow from City, University of London. Following the talks, the Prime Minister has also offered regular meetings with her staff.
The letter, which was sent in January, warned that “2017 simply cannot be another year where these huge issues are ducked” and 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”.
It also built on calls throughout January from three Select Committee Chairs, Sarah Wollaston MP (Health Committee), Meg Hillier MP (Public Accounts Committee) and Clive Betts MP (Communities and Local Government Committee) for a cross-party agreement on health and social care funding.
The letter and the meeting also made the point that the cross-party process must recommend clear actions that have the support of all parties, and that will ultimately make a difference to the lives of many older, ill and disabled people who rely on health and care services.
It has also be emphasised that this cross-party process must begin immediately to find a sustainable solution to the problems in health and social care funding and have the political will behind it to deliver meaningful change. The letter states that the process “should recognise that just as no one party should be blamed for the current challenges, nor can a genuinely long term solution be owned only by one party.”
Professor Julienne Meyer CBE, Professor of Nursing Care for Older People, said:
Following the meeting of MPs with the Prime Minister, I am cautiously optimistic that there is an impetus to see health and social care prioritised, after the momentum we all gathered this last few weeks. We all need to wake up to the fact that the health and social care system is in crisis and the needs of frail older people are not being adequately addressed. Hopefully this meeting with the Prime Minister will be just the start, as we are all going to get old, so if we don’t take action now, we will pay the cost later.
Commenting after the meeting, Norman Lamb MP said:
I very much welcomed the positive and constructive discussion with the Prime Minister, who seemed willing to engage in a serious dialogue about how best to secure the future of our NHS and social care services.
The future of the NHS and Social Care is more important than party politics, which has completely failed to come up with real solutions. The public are crying out for politicians to stop shouting at each other, and instead work together to make difficult decisions to ensure that patients get the right care and treatment when they need it.
"There is a real urgency to this situation, and now is the time to act. Today's meeting was an encouraging first step, and I look forward to meeting with her advisers as soon as possible.