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Health Select Committee Report (Public Expenditure)

Volume 564: debated on Thursday 13 June 2013

I have today laid before Parliament “Government Response to the House of Commons Health Select Committee report into Public Expenditure on Health and Care Services: Eleventh Report of Session 2012-13”, Cm 8624.

Even with this Government’s £12.7 billion investment in the NHS and additional £7.2 billion investment in adult social care, I acknowledge that our health and care system is facing enormous pressures from rising demands for its services. Yet both the NHS and local authorities are rising to these challenges, and through a combination of increased efficiency and wiser spending are continuing to deliver high-quality care for their patients and service users.

However, we do need to go further than just delivering the same service. If we are to meet the needs of our ageing population, the NHS and its partners in social care need to look seriously at how care is being provided, particularly to older patients and those with long-term conditions.

Our healthcare services need to be more efficient. This does not mean cutting services or finding short-term fixes—it means getting better services to people in a timely way. The number of people over 85 is set to double in coming decades. Doing things differently is the only way we will meet people’s expectations within a constrained budget.

Since April—under this Government’s reforms—GPs, local authorities and hospitals are now working together to make sure that services are integrated and that more is provided in the community and closer to patients’ homes.