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S18 - Statement of Intent from the Secretary of State for Health Watch

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    (Original post by PetrosAC)
    Sorry if it came across that way
    Don't worry about it.
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    All very good intentions. It's nice to see that these problems will be properly addressed.
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    Seems a solid SoI, however MattElves: do you have any plans to combat the shortage of full time doctors who choose to work in A&E?
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    (Original post by toronto353)

    The Government continues to be committed to the improvement of mental health services within the NHS which it has identified as a vital issue since the latest NHS report stated that mental health issues cost the economy £105 billion which is roughly the cost of the whole NHS and is failing those with mental heath issues.

    [Source: https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-conten...FYFV-final.pdf]

    First of all, the Government is committed to making waiting times for mental health equal to the waiting times for physical health. As such, the Government is pledging to invest £500 million to achieve this as soon as possible.
    While increased funding is a welcome continuation of the last Government's plans for the mental health services, I implore the Government and SoS for Health to go into greater detail on what this £500 million will do, where exactly it will go. One criticism of my time as SoS for Health in the LibLab Government was lack of detail in my SoI, and the accusation of simply throwing money at the problem, it is pure hypocrisy of the tories to allow this through to the house after making the criticism they did of my SoI. I do not disagree with the hon. member but unless there is a bill or future SoI to come on this issue more information is needed.

    Secondly, the Government will also invest £30 million into a new Life Chances Fund which will combat alcoholism and drug abuse which are two leading causes of mental health issues in this country. In addition to this, £10 million will also be invested into the training of GPs, which are often the first point of contact for those suffering from mental health issues. This will have minimal costs after the current GPs have been trained on these issues as it will simply be implemented into the current training of new GPs.
    Again a welcome continuation of the previous Government's plans on the issue of alcohol. I do question however if £30 million is enough to make this Fund effective given the wide spread effect of drugs and alcohol.

    [Finally, the Government is committed to tackling the disproportionate rate of male suicides which currently stands at 76%. To do this, the Department of Health will set up a new campaign which aims to encourage men suffering from mental health issues to seek help from mental health services.[/quote]

    Any funding of this? I do however fully support this, more must be done to help men who do often due to the perceived nature of masculinity feel trapped and alone when confronted with issues that can be helped. When costings are provided this will no doubt have the unequivocal support of Labour.


    7 Day GP Service

    The Government recognises that the people of this country need to have a GP service which fits in around them and the new modern working lifestyle. As such, the Government is investing a further £2.4 billion per year into the NHS in order to ensure that millions of patients will have better access to their GPs rather than having to wait weeks to see them.
    Will this £2.4 million be going towards mental health support for GPs? Towards pay rises? Towards training tens of thousands of new GPs? There are lots of issues at work over creating seven day access and I find this to be nothing more than hollow words at present without any plan in place to show where the money is going, what it is intended to do and how it will help create this seven day GP service. It is something we can all support in principle I am sure, but one paragraph consisting of two sentences is not enough on such a major point.


    Legalise Euthanasia and Assisted Dying

    The Government is fully committed to offering world-leading services for health care in this country. As such, the Government will put forward a plan to offer voluntary euthanasia and assisted dying within the NHS. The Government would like to make clear that that these services shall only an option for those that have a terminal illness or a non-curable, painful illness and will have appropriate safeguards to ensure the system cannot be exploited. The Government believes that by offering these compassionate options, the Government will ensure that the NHS reflects modern society and its current morals and values. The Government now believes that this change is vital since over 650 British citizens are members of Dignitas which leads to people who want to use these services having to die in foreign countries and meanwhile leaves their families uncertain of whether they could be prosecuted when they return to the UK.

    [Source: http://www.dignityindying.org.uk/ass...s-not-working/]

    The Department of Health is clear, however, that palliative will not suffer from this change and will continue to be a strength of the UK’s world-leading healthcare system.
    Some who sit with me may disagree on my personal view of supporting euthanasia, and I have seen already the promises of primary legislation in the near future. As such I shall simply say I look forward to what I am sure will be an emotive debate on the issue. I only offer advice in saying it might have been best to mention this would be followed by a bill to ratify this in the SoI to avoid confusion.

    Although I would call hypocrisy on the tories again, supporting something which says change is vital as since over 650 British citizens are members of Dignitas yet they routinely dismiss LGBTQ+ concerns as they are a minority.


    Increase NHS Spending on Front Line Services

    This Government recognises that the NHS is becoming ever more stretched and is therefore ensuring £2 billion of DH funding will be exclusively invested into the front-line services of the NHS in order to ensure that they continue to be able to function properly and provide the best health care possible.
    I welcome any increase in funding to the NHS, however I must ask this this include mental health front line services, with NHS surveys finding mental health service funding is not reaching the front lines of the NHS, and this would be a big step in helping combat mental health problems. I also call on the Government to explain the £2 Billion figure, and question if it is a suitable figure.


    Protect the NHS Bursary

    The Government will continue to ensure that the NHS bursary is fully protected as it is clear that this maximises the chances of the very best candidates applying for these courses and ensures that nobody is prevented the opportunity of enrolling on these courses due to their economic background.
    A massive aye here.


    Utilising Generic Drugs in the NHS

    Currently, 71% of the drugs offered by the NHS are generic rather than branded which already saves the NHS £9.5 billion. The US and Canada, meanwhile, use generic drugs 89% and 81% of the time respectively and this has not had an adverse effect on their healthcare systems but has instead saved them a great deal of money. Therefore, the Department of Health is committed to increasing the use of generic drugs in the NHS by 10% which will lead to savings of approximately £1.4 billion.

    [Source: http://www.publications.parliament.u...9/1499vw27.htm]
    If the Government can find a way around the previously mentioned treaties and such forbidding this I am happy to support this.


    NHS Efficiency Report

    The NHS efficiency report has found that savings of up to £22 billion could be saved. Steps are now being taken by senior leadership to ensure that these savings are made as quickly as possible and the recommendations from the report are implemented in full. The Department of Health welcomes these savings.
    Having read the gov.uk article on this just now I fail to see where the £22 billion figure comes from. I also question the SoI which welcomes massive investment then talks about finding £22 billion worth of savings. I would like the SoS to go into more detail on this if possible.

    NHS Five Year Forward View

    This Government also fully supports the NHS's Five Year Forward View Report which will enable the NHS to continue to progress and reform and ensures that the NHS will continue to provide world-leading healthcare which corresponds to modern society and the challenges which comes with it.

    [Source: https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-conten...0/5yfv-web.pdfhttps://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-conten...0/5yfv-web.pdf]
    [/field]
    As a whole that report seems to be a viable way forward for the NHS, I would like more time to fully consult it before welcoming it's inclusion however, and I hope the SoS understands why this is.
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    (Original post by Life_peer)
    You know we won't criticise if you don't respond immediately when a new item is posted, right? In fact, few people care whether you respond at all so there's no need to always make the first page. Just a reality check for you.
    I'm just waiting for people to start going "FIRST!"
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    (Original post by Kay_Winters)
    While increased funding is a welcome continuation of the last Government's plans for the mental health services, I implore the Government and SoS for Health to go into greater detail on what this £500 million will do, where exactly it will go. One criticism of my time as SoS for Health in the LibLab Government was lack of detail in my SoI, and the accusation of simply throwing money at the problem, it is pure hypocrisy of the tories to allow this through to the house after making the criticism they did of my SoI. I do not disagree with the hon. member but unless there is a bill or future SoI to come on this issue more information is needed.



    Again a welcome continuation of the previous Government's plans on the issue of alcohol. I do question however if £30 million is enough to make this Fund effective given the wide spread effect of drugs and alcohol.

    [Finally, the Government is committed to tackling the disproportionate rate of male suicides which currently stands at 76%. To do this, the Department of Health will set up a new campaign which aims to encourage men suffering from mental health issues to seek help from mental health services.

    Any funding of this? I do however fully support this, more must be done to help men who do often due to the perceived nature of masculinity feel trapped and alone when confronted with issues that can be helped. When costings are provided this will no doubt have the unequivocal support of Labour.


    [u]

    Will this £2.4 million be going towards mental health support for GPs? Towards pay rises? Towards training tens of thousands of new GPs? There are lots of issues at work over creating seven day access and I find this to be nothing more than hollow words at present without any plan in place to show where the money is going, what it is intended to do and how it will help create this seven day GP service. It is something we can all support in principle I am sure, but one paragraph consisting of two sentences is not enough on such a major point.


    [u]

    Some who sit with me may disagree on my personal view of supporting euthanasia, and I have seen already the promises of primary legislation in the near future. As such I shall simply say I look forward to what I am sure will be an emotive debate on the issue. I only offer advice in saying it might have been best to mention this would be followed by a bill to ratify this in the SoI to avoid confusion.

    Although I would call hypocrisy on the tories again, supporting something which says change is vital as since over 650 British citizens are members of Dignitas yet they routinely dismiss LGBTQ+ concerns as they are a minority.


    [u]

    I welcome any increase in funding to the NHS, however I must ask this this include mental health front line services, with NHS surveys finding mental health service funding is not reaching the front lines of the NHS, and this would be a big step in helping combat mental health problems. I also call on the Government to explain the £2 Billion figure, and question if it is a suitable figure.


    [u]

    A massive aye here.


    [u]

    If the Government can find a way around the previously mentioned treaties and such forbidding this I am happy to support this.


    [u]

    Having read the gov.uk article on this just now I fail to see where the £22 billion figure comes from. I also question the SoI which welcomes massive investment then talks about finding £22 billion worth of savings. I would like the SoS to go into more detail on this if possible.

    [u]

    As a whole that report seems to be a viable way forward for the NHS, I would like more time to fully consult it before welcoming it's inclusion however, and I hope the SoS understands why this is.
    Hi,

    Thanks for your comments and I shall certainly take a look at them and try to address the concerns which you may have. I will start now and will get back to you on anything I don't answer now.

    If you look at one of my earlier replies I do go into more detail about where that mental health funding will go and I will be happy to answer any further questions you have in relation to the issue.

    The £30 million has been called into question as to whether it would be enough but was actually a figure from a direct recommendation which was put forward in the NHS report which I linked (and which does contain more detail on the scheme if you would like to look into it) and therefore I will continue to stand by it.

    As for the campaign for the male suicide rate, this is in an early stage of development and as such cannot answer your question now but I will release a statement when the plans have been finalised which will go into more detail on this issue and will outline both the question you raised as well as why the Government believes it will catalyse improvement.

    I can't really comment on the LGBTQ+ concerns which you raised as I am a Liberal but I would like to say I am a strong supporter of LGBTQ+ rights so I am sure we will have much in common on the issue.

    In terms of the £2 billion figure, it was mostly compiled from the five year forward view report's funding suggestions as well as reviewing current investment from the RL Government on the issue. I would like to take this time also to confirm that this does indeed mean the front-line for both physical and mental healthcare.

    As I set out in the SoI the efficiency savings are independent from the Government and as such are not savings which we have recommended they make. I am, however, simply welcoming these savings.

    Yeah, it's a pretty long report but I will happily look at any concerns you may have after reading it.
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    (Original post by emmald583)
    Seems a solid SoI, however MattElves: do you have any plans to combat the shortage of full time doctors who choose to work in A&E?
    Sorry for the late reply, the lack of notifications is really starting to bug me...

    Anyway, I will look into your concerns in terms of this issue and will get back to you at a later date in more detail on this as, while I was aware of the issue, it is a complex one and one which has clear difficulties in being dealt with.

    If I don't get back to you, send me a quick PM as I can be forgetful!
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    MattElves -

    emmald583 makes a good point; the expenditure on Locum positions is extortionate. While keeping the NHS bursary will go some ways towards combating this amongst AHPs, can we look forward to the introduction of a small wage to medics/student AHPs who have to undergo 1000+ hours on placement over the time they spend studying, essentially working for free in the NHS, especially in their third year?
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    (Original post by JoeL1994)
    MattElves -

    emmald583 makes a good point; the expenditure on Locum positions is extortionate. While keeping the NHS bursary will go some ways towards combating this amongst AHPs, can we look forward to the introduction of a small wage to medics/student AHPs who have to undergo 1000+ hours on placement over the time they spend studying, essentially working for free in the NHS, especially in their third year?
    This is certainly something which I can look into, and something which personally I think could be beneficial.
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    (Original post by MattElves)
    This is certainly something which I can look into, and something which personally I think could be beneficial.
    I'd be more than happy to contribute, PM me if it is feasible.
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    (Original post by JoeL1994)
    I'd be more than happy to contribute, PM me if it is feasible.
    Thanks.
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    (Original post by MattElves)
    Hi,

    Thanks for your comments and I shall certainly take a look at them and try to address the concerns which you may have. I will start now and will get back to you on anything I don't answer now.

    If you look at one of my earlier replies I do go into more detail about where that mental health funding will go and I will be happy to answer any further questions you have in relation to the issue.
    I shall go back and find where you elaborate, cheers.

    The £30 million has been called into question as to whether it would be enough but was actually a figure from a direct recommendation which was put forward in the NHS report which I linked (and which does contain more detail on the scheme if you would like to look into it) and therefore I will continue to stand by it.
    I'll take a look, I think the idea is a good one just want to be sure this isn't a case of chucking what seems like a sizeable sum at something but in reality won't achieve anything

    As for the campaign for the male suicide rate, this is in an early stage of development and as such cannot answer your question now but I will release a statement when the plans have been finalised which will go into more detail on this issue and will outline both the question you raised as well as why the Government believes it will catalyse improvement
    I look forward to that then


    I can't really comment on the LGBTQ+ concerns which you raised as I am a Liberal but I would like to say I am a strong supporter of LGBTQ+ rights so I am sure we will have much in common on the issue.
    A Liberal in a coalition government with the tories however, I however understand you being unable to answer the question and hope that we can work on LGBTQ+ rights together someday

    In terms of the £2 billion figure, it was mostly compiled from the five year forward view report's funding suggestions as well as reviewing current investment from the RL Government on the issue. I would like to take this time also to confirm that this does indeed mean the front-line for both physical and mental healthcare.
    Is it £2 billion or £22 billion? Just to confirm. And I welcome that confirmation.

    As I set out in the SoI the efficiency savings are independent from the Government and as such are not savings which we have recommended they make. I am, however, simply welcoming these savings.

    Yeah, it's a pretty long report but I will happily look at any concerns you may have after reading it.
    Fair enough, and I shall hope to get back on the report when I can.

    (Original post by JoeL1994)
    MattElves -

    emmald583 makes a good point; the expenditure on Locum positions is extortionate. While keeping the NHS bursary will go some ways towards combating this amongst AHPs, can we look forward to the introduction of a small wage to medics/student AHPs who have to undergo 1000+ hours on placement over the time they spend studying, essentially working for free in the NHS, especially in their third year?
    Even if this goes nowhere now we could consider this internally I am sure.
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    (Original post by Kay_Winters)
    I shall go back and find where you elaborate, cheers.



    I'll take a look, I think the idea is a good one just want to be sure this isn't a case of chucking what seems like a sizeable sum at something but in reality won't achieve anything



    I look forward to that then




    A Liberal in a coalition government with the tories however, I however understand you being unable to answer the question and hope that we can work on LGBTQ+ rights together someday

    Is it £2 billion or £22 billion? Just to confirm. And I welcome that confirmation.



    Fair enough, and I shall hope to get back on the report when I can.



    Even if this goes nowhere now we could consider this internally I am sure.
    It is £2 billion. I perhaps need to clarify that this is obviously not the only funding that will go into front-line services but rather is ensuring that on top of the usual amount which goes to the front-line, another £2 billion will also. This is found within the budget spending as the figure which is to be used for the DH funding is that of it's real-life counterpart (obviously with the exception of the increase in funding for the policies set out in the SoI) which also had a £2 billion increase from the RL Government.

    In effect, I am ensuring that this extra £2 billion continues to go exclusively to the front-line services of the NHS.

    I'm hoping that it is now clear where this £2 billion is coming from. I've tried to explain it the best I can and can be further explained when the budget is released if required.

    I also hope that we may get to work on LGBTQ+ rights in the future.
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    Nice one MattElves
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    Fairly vanilla, but no immediate objections.

    I agree RE euthanasia.

    £30million on alcoholism, £10million on GP training......spending it on what exactly?

    What about the fact that all Trusts are currently in deficit?
    Junior doctors have rejected the new contract.
    The health service is already underfunded per GDP compared with Europe.
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    This statement of intent is in cessation.

    The following section requires further legislation:
    Legalised dying/euthanasia
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    This statement of intent has automatically passed.
 
 
 
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