House of Lords slams “short-termism” of NHS in new report

pharmafile | April 6, 2017 | News story | Medical Communications House of Lords, NHS 

A new report from the House of Lords has slammed current and past “short-sighted” governments for failing to provide a sustainable long-term plan to support the National Health Service (NHS) and adult social care, again illuminating the strained cracks in the UK service.

The report, titled ‘The Long-term Sustainability of the NHS and Adult Social Care’, berated the “culture of short-termism” it claims is endemic throughout the forces driving the service, singling out a failure to plan for the more distant future as central amongst the issues it is facing.

“The short-sightedness of successive governments is reflected in a Department of Health that is unable or unwilling to think beyond the next few years,” the report reads. “The Department of Health, over a number of years, has failed in this regard. Almost everyone involved in the health service and social care system seems to be absorbed by the day-to-day struggles, leaving the future to ‘take care of itself’.”

Furthermore, the report proposed new steps to confront the issue and facilitate discussion with the hope of shifting focus towards more long-term solutions:

“A new political consensus on the future of the health and care system is desperately needed and this should emerge as a result of Government-initiated cross-party talks and a robust national conversation,” the report continued. “To build on this consensus, we recommend the establishment of an Office for Health and Care Sustainability. It should play no part in the operation of the health and care systems, or make decisions, but should be given the independence to speak freely about issues relating to its remit.”

Matt Fellows

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