Cllr Kemp urges national conversation over health care funding

Cllr Richard Kemp, LGA Lib Dem Spokesperson on Health and Social Care, has written to the national press to challenge others to join a national conversation over health care funding.

Dear Sir,

In today's edition you published two interesting stories about health which could not have been more contradictory.

In the first you quote a junior doctor as saying, "We won't let you starve the NHS to death Mr Hunt". In the second you say that "the latest research suggests that the drug (aspirin) could also have a major role in treating and preventing cancer".

Somewhere the way forward for the health service is to make such views complementary and not competitive. What few politicians care to admit ,and even fewer health professionals, is that unless we change the model for social and health care health will become an unsustainable burden on taxes. One projection is that if we increase spending on the NHS at the current rate we will stand all taxes raised on health by 2050.

To change this we need to move spending upstream. We need to move it from acute care to general care, from general care to social care and from social care to illness prevention activity.

I am challenging all political parties, those in the Health Service and Social Care bodies and charities to join a big conversation about how we change the culture of health care in the Country. This needs to be all embracing:

  • How can individuals do more to stay healthy  and prepare intelligently for old age?
  • What is the role of families in stooping inappropriate behaviour such as poor eating habits and caring for their elderly better?
  • What is the role of communities in caring for the ill and elderly amongst them?
  • How do councils provide services which keep and plan communities healthier?
  • How does the Health Service move from high end gadgets and gizmos to more public health and co ordinated activity with  other services?
  • Perhaps the Independent would like to take the lead in developing such a 'big conversation'?

Cllr Richard Kemp CBE

Liberal Spokesperson on Health & Social Care, Local Government Association

07885 626913

0207 664  3295

5 October 2015