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Social care: MPs seek cross-party group to 'sustain' NHS

Reported by the BBC (18 November 2017): Ninety MPs have signed a letter calling on the prime minister to set up a cross-party convention on the future of the NHS and social care in England.

They say a non-partisan debate is needed to deliver a "sustainable settlement". The letter to Theresa May and Chancellor Philip Hammond said patients were being "failed" by the system. A government spokesperson said it was "committed" to making the sector sustainable.

The government had already provided an additional £2bn to social care over the next three years, the spokesperson added.

One-third of the MPs who have signed the letter are Conservative. They include Sarah Wollaston, chair of the health select committee, former education secretary Nicky Morgan and Andrew Mitchell, a minister under the last government.
Tories George Freeman, former policy adviser to Mrs May and Sir Nicholas Soames, are other signatories. Labour MPs to sign include Liz Kendall, Chuka Umunna, Hilary Benn, Frank Field and Caroline Flint. Among the Liberal Democrats to have signed are Sir Vince Cable, Sir Ed Davey, Tim Farron and Norman Lamb.

A similar initiative with a much smaller group of MPs, including Ms Wollaston and Mr Lamb, was launched earlier in the year. The heads of three commons select committees also demanded "swift" action. This resulted in a meeting with Downing Street officials.

The latest letter, now backed by a broader range of senior parliamentarians, said the general election had interrupted these plans.

"The need for action is greater now than ever," it said.

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