Long-term sustainability of NHS and Adult Social Care under threat
The Select Committee on the Long-term Sustainability of the NHS has slammed the 'short sightedness' of successive governments for failing to plan effectively for the long-term future of the health service and adult social care.
The BGS fed into the Committee’s Inquiry by providing a written submission which is already published here.
Lord Patel, Crossbench Peer and eminent obstetrician provides a good summary of the Committee’s recommendations.
The Department of Health at both the political and official level is failing to think beyond the next few years. There is a shocking lack of long-term strategic planning in the NHS. This short sightedness stems from the political importance of the NHS and the temptation for politicians to reach for short-term fixes not long-term solutions.
To solve this we need a new body that is independent of government and is able to identify clearly the healthcare needs of a changing and ageing population and the staffing and funding the NHS will require to meet those needs. This new Office for Health and Care Sustainability should be a trusted, independent voice as the Office for Budget Responsibility has become on economic forecasting and on public finance matters. It will need to look ahead and plan for 15-20 years into the future.