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Five Year Forward View

Volume 609: debated on Tuesday 10 May 2016

We are making good progress in implementing the five year forward view, including £133 million invested in new models of care and 18 million people benefiting from extended GP access.

It is estimated that a third of patients in acute hospitals could be better treated elsewhere, for instance at home, and in east Kent our vanguard aims to address this with new models of care, but it is early days. Will my right hon. Friend advise us of what he is doing to drive progress on new models of care, bringing together health and social care so that more people are cared for in the right place?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right to draw attention to what is, in a way, the most fundamental point of the five year forward view, which is getting care to people earlier to help them live healthily and happily at home. Perhaps the most significant announcement we have had in the past few weeks has been the extra £2.6 billion a year that will be invested by the end of the Parliament in general practice. That is a 14% increase that will allow us to recruit many more GPs and, I hope, dramatically improve care for her constituents and others.

Yesterday the Health Secretary admitted to the Health Committee that “we didn’t protect the entire health budget” in the last comprehensive spending review. I am pleased that he appears to have adopted a bit of straight-talking, honest politics, so in that spirit will he now admit that the very real cuts to public health budgets over the next few years will make it harder to deliver the “radical upgrade” in public health that his five year forward view called for?

In the spirit of straight talking and honesty, which I think is an excellent thing, perhaps the hon. Gentleman might concede that those cuts and efficiencies that he is talking about would have been a great deal more if we had followed Labour’s spending plans—that is, £5.5 billion less for the NHS than this Government promised, on the back of a strong economy.