New Clause 27 - Duty as to workforce and training innovation

Part of Health and Care Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:15 pm on 27 October 2021.

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Photo of Chris Skidmore Chris Skidmore Conservative, Kingswood 5:15, 27 October 2021

As I said, I will not push the new clauses to a vote, but I will just reiterate that there clearly is a massive structural supply and demand imbalance. I do not believe that the status quo will be sustainable in the longer term. I do appreciate the Minister setting out the ecosystem as it exists, but I fear that that ecosystem, in the longer term, cannot keep up with the changing demands on the healthcare system and the expansion of the healthcare system thanks to the budgetary announcements today about the amount of money that is being spent. None of this will cut through effectively if we do not have the trained workforce in place to be able to deliver healthcare on the ground. Mention has been made of general practitioners and the shortfall that we are going to see as a result of the demographic and retirement bulge that is going through the system at the moment. These are problems coming down the track, and I would always recommend in policy, as in life, that if we see a problem and know that we are going to have to take a decision, it is better to take the decision sooner rather than later, because the costs will only be less now and greater later on.

I will not push these new clauses to a Division, but I have, Cassandra-like, sent out a warning cry of what will happen in the future if we do not act soon. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the motion.