Sarah Wollaston Chair, Health and Social Care Committee, Chair, Liaison Committee (Commons)
I warmly welcome this ambitious and wide-ranging long-term plan for the NHS. I agree with Dr Whitford that so much is dependent on social care, on public health and on the workforce through Health Education England budgets, but may I add to that the situation for capital budgets within the forthcoming spending review? So much of the success of transforming services depends on the upfront funding to get things going and sometimes double running so that we can get a new service up and running before an existing service closes down. Will the Secretary of State go further in talking about the role and importance of capital budgets?
I also really welcome the triple integration—not only between health and social care, but between mental and physical health and between primary and hospital services. Could the Secretary of State confirm and support the proposal in the long-term plan that the legislative tweaks that will support that much needed integration will come from the NHS itself? I confirm that the Health and Social Care Committee remains committed to subjecting those proposals to pre-legislative scrutiny. Will he meet me to see how we can take that forward?
Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
Yes, I would be very happy to meet my hon. Friend to discuss the legislative changes. These changes have been proposed by the NHS. The NHS wants the changes set out at a high level in the plan. Of course there is a lot of consequential work to do to turn them into a full legislative proposal. The NHS is working on that. If it does that alongside and working with the Select Committee, I would be very happy to meet with her to discuss how that might happen. This is very much the NHS's proposed legislation and I look forward to discussing it with her.
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