Norman Lamb: NHS is 'politically sexy' for politicians - but 'nobody focuses on social care'

Norman Lamb

Monday, January 7, 2019

The former health minister has criticised a new 10-year plan for the NHS, claiming it fails to address issues faced in social care.

Appearing on the breakfast show, Norman Lamb told Julia Hartley-Brewer he thought the plan - which includes DNA testing for children with cancer and funding increases for GPs, community care and mental health - had "neglected" social care.

"The NHS for politicians is politically sexy, every party wants to outdo the other - no one really focuses on social care. I guess a lot of people don't really understand what it is, so it gets neglected," the Lib Dem MP said.



He added that a "workforce crisis" had resulted in social care becoming "unsafe".

"There's a workforce crisis across the NHS which makes care actually quite unsafe in many parts of the country. Unless you can recruit the workforce to deliver the care you're not going to deliver the plan."

NHS bosses have claimed the new plan could save almost 500,000 lives by focussing on prevention, rather than cure.


'Complete crisis'

However, Mr Lamb said there were a lot of "question marks" that needed to "be addressed" in the plan.

"Unless you confront the complete crisis we have in social care where we are not spending enough on carre for elderly people, it's a system that fails to allow people to plan for their old age in a sensible way," he said.

"Unless we confront that, we will fail on the NHS. There's lots of big question marks that have to be addressed in order to deliver this plan."