Health and Social Care

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:56 pm on 16th January 2020.

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Photo of Anne Marie Morris Anne Marie Morris Conservative, Newton Abbot 2:56 pm, 16th January 2020

The hon. Lady—I almost said my hon. Friend because we share some common issues, and she is a great spokesman from the SNP Benches—is absolutely right. I think we would actually all agree that we need to look at the people who deliver these services and at the breadth we have, and involve them all appropriately.

We must also look at the new professions with the new associate levels. Physician associates take a huge part of the burden, and have a great career across the whole of primary and secondary care. Let us be innovative and creative, and provide the training, the financial support and the respect that I think many people working in our health system feel they do not necessarily receive from this place, although clearly they feel they have it from their patients. IT has always been the call of the Secretary of State, but again, let us be more imaginative. It is not just about communication; it is also about diagnosis and the delivery of care. There is much that can be done.

The Queen’s Speech refers to a medicines and medical devices Bill, which is absolutely critical to get right. I am very keen to look at the speed of getting medicines to patients, but we need to do more than deal with clinical trials. There is much that has to be done with regard to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and NICE and their systems. I would like to see the approach to access to medicines be more ambitious.

Finally—I am getting the evil eye, I think, Madam Deputy Speaker—I am very pleased that in the NHS Funding Bill we are now committing to enshrine increased spending in law. My concern is: do we have the right level of spending, how will we be measuring need and is that spending matching the increase in demand? That is a good promise, but it needs considerably more work.

This Government have done a good job in setting out some of the key issues and priorities that we as a House need to address, but we must look at the detail, we must implement this and we must deliver.