“A new deal for funding NHS and social care needed” says Lib Dem Shadow Health Secretary Norman Lamb meeting Cornwall health and social care leaders.
On a visit to Cornwall today (Tuesday), former care minster Norman Lamb MP met with a wide range of health and social care groups to learn about the impact in the shortfall of funding to voluntary services in Cornwall. Cornwall health and social care faces a £277m shortfall in funding over the next four years.
Meeting at the Eden project, Mr Lamb met representatives from groups including Age UK Cornwall, Brook Young People, mental health charities Pentreath and XenZone, and the Eden project’s People and Gardens scheme. The groups have been conducting research into the impacts of the cuts in support to voluntary groups in Cornwall. Norman Lamb said, “The challenges that Cornwall’s voluntary sector are facing, shows that Cornwall and the whole country needs a comprehensive new deal for funding our NHS and social care services.”
“The draft NHS reform plans for Cornwall have been described as ‘not fit for purpose’ and in the mean time, vital services are being reduced.”
“Last week we published interim proposals from an independent panel of health experts I set up to ask the difficult questions about the challenges facing health and social care and to come forward with bold solutions needed to meet them. We believe that this issue needs to be addressed on a cross-party basis,” said Mr Lamb.
The full report will be published later in Spring amongst the key conclusions are:
- The current funding settlement for our health and care services is not fit for purpose. It is well documented that there is a projected funding gap in the region of £20bn across health services by 2020/21 and a further £6bn gap in social care.
- The panel is unanimously of the opinion that it is necessary to raise additional revenue for health and care through taxation.
- The panel will propose the establishment of an independent body to make health and care budget recommendations to Government, setting out what is needed to deliver services and essentially providing a similar function to that of the Office of Budget Responsibility.
- The panel are considering a number of options for where additional taxation should come from, taking account of how we can raise the amount of money needed; but also, how this can be done in a way which is progressive and takes account of intergenerational fairness.
The options under consideration are as follows and the panel will conclude which of these they think is preferable in the final report:
- Raising Income Tax
- Raising National Insurance
- Introducing a dedicated health and care tax
The full interim report can be read here.