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MPs adopt cross-party approach

Close to 100 MPs have signed a letter calling on the Government to establish a cross-party group to enhance sustainability in the NHS.

The prime minister and chancellor have been urged to revive attempts to forge a collaborative NHS and social care convention made up of MPs from all parliamentary parties. It would act as a forum for non-partisan debate.

The letter, drafted by former Liberal Democrat health minister Norman Lamb, has been endorsed by 90 MPs including health committee chair and Conservative MP for Totnes Sarah Wollaston and Labour’s former shadow care minister Liz Kendall.

The letter, which expresses the desire of finding a long-term financial settlement that will enable sustainable services in health and social care, was published just days ahead of chancellor Philip Hammond’s autumn budget.

It says: ‘In putting forward this proposal, we recognise that the NHS and the care system face enormous challenges but that conventional partisan politics has failed to come up with solutions.

‘We also took the view that there was a real urgency about confronting the pressures that the NHS and the social care system face. We understand that fixing this is immensely challenging and involves difficult choices.

‘We all recognise though that patients and those needing care are too often failed by a system under considerable strain. We are all committed to assist in finding an agreed way forward. We believe that together we owe a duty to the people of this country to confront the serious challenges the NHS and the care system face.’

Attempts to create a cross-party body had been under way earlier in the year, but were stalled by the announcement of a snap general election.

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