NHS and Social Care Commission

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:04 pm on 28th January 2016.

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Photo of Heidi Alexander Heidi Alexander Shadow Secretary of State for Health 4:04 pm, 28th January 2016

I accept that difficult choices have had to be made, but some of those choices have impacted enormously on some of the most vulnerable people in our society. The hon. Gentleman was not in the Chamber for the beginning of my speech, when I recognised the seriousness of the problem and the need for urgent action to tackle it. I want to find a solution that works and delivers the change that is needed.

The public are crying out for honesty in this debate. They understand the pressures created by rising demand and new technologies, and they want to be treated like adults. To suggest that this can be all neatly sewn up by an independent commission with the politics taken out of it sounds attractive, but I worry that it will not deliver. For the millions of people who depend on our NHS and social care system, I agree with the right hon. Member for North Norfolk that we cannot afford to have another Parliament where we fail to grasp the nettle. I know his proposal is well intentioned, but I fear that it is not the answer.