MPs and Peers have been warned of a health and care sector on the brink of collapse unless concerted action is taken at national and local level to support services.
Backing local efforts to transform services and helping to secure extra funding for the winter period are among some of the ways parliamentarians can throw their weight behind local services, the NHS Confederation has said.
The stark warning, issued by the Confederation and its networks, comes as the health service grapples with a perfect storm.
With another difficult winter looming large, workforce challenges beginning to bite and Brexit threatening to wreak havoc, the Confederation has warned that inaction now will exacerbate pressures, causing patients to suffer.
To prevent this, the organisation has set out how MPs and Peers can support local services and their leaders to take action on seven key issues: workforce, pay, transformation, Brexit, funding, social care, and mental health.
Outlined in Healthcare on the brink, launched at the Labour Party conference on 25 September, the Confederation has called on parliamentarians to:
- urge the government to commit to fully funding any relaxation of the public sector pay cap
- advocate the need for and benefits of transforming services
- prioritise the future status of EU citizens living in the UK
- make the case for ring-fenced transformation funding for new models of care
- table a debate on winter pressures on the NHS
- press the government for proposals on a long-term solution to social care
- make sure mental health services receive the resources needed to implement the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health.
The organisation – which includes NHS Employers
, NHS Clinical Commissioners
, the Mental Health Network
and the Independent Healthcare Providers Network
– has also called for a more mature debate about the role of the independent sector in the NHS.
The briefing has been released as part of a programme of activity over both Labour and Conservative Party conferences.
The comprehensive programme includes sessions with senior MPs, Peers and councillors on the challenges facing members across the Confederation, and will explore whole-system solutions to issues including winter pressures, funding, transformation and the NHS workforce.
The programme will also shine a light on how Confed members and their local partners are working in new and different ways to care for patients and local communities.
Find out more
Download Healthcare on the brink.
View our programme of activity over party conference season.