Thank you for contacting me.
I maintain regular contact with both our hospitals in South Cambs and was proud to join the Prime Minister when she visited Addenbrooke’s in April, when she launched the Government’s £75 million additional research funding into prostate cancer. While she was there, she took time to meet staff and listen to their concerns.
At the heart of the challenge is that as our population ages, demand for the NHS also rises. Not only is the Government increasing NHS investment by over £8 billion this parliament, it is making progress on reforms which will reduce waiting times, and alleviate pressures on the NHS.
Through the £3.6 billion investment in the Better Care Fund, and the NHS’s continuing implementation of its own plan for the future, the Five Year Forward View, I believe the proper integration of health and social care will be of huge benefit to the NHS and patients alike. Excellent progress is being made. Compared to five years ago, nearly half a million more people are treated within 18 weeks of referral; and I am happy to say that safety in the NHS continues to improve.
However, I have for some time felt the NHS would benefit from a new funding approach. So in March 2018, I signed the second of two cross-party letters to the Prime Minister calling on her to launch a commission to examine the future funding of the NHS. In my view, this should include whether it is necessary to increase taxes as a means of supporting the NHS and ensuring full integration with our social care system.
So it was encouraging to hear the Prime Minister recently announce that in advance of next year’s spending review she wants a long-term plan for NHS funding.
I completely support this approach and will continue to play my part in bringing it about.