Commission puts health devolution back on political agenda

By Laura Sharman | 03 February 2020

A new Commission calling for the devolution of health and social care services has been launched today.

The cross-party Health Devolution Commission is backed by five former health ministers and senior professionals from the health and social care sectors.

It will examine if a new model of devolved decision-making is needed to help tackle the increasing demand on the NHS.

Norman Lamb, co-chair of the Commission, said: ‘The habitual response of national politicians - to promise more money for the NHS - is welcome and necessary but it is not sufficient to ensure we have a financially sustainable health and social care system that meets the needs of a growing and ageing population.

‘Against this changing policy landscape, the case for looking at how devolving health could allow for more joined up, long-term solutions is overwhelming.’

The Commission will also explore how should the challenges of accountability, power and control between the NHS and local authorities should be addressed in devolved and integrated systems.

The devolution commissioners are as follows: 

  • Rt Hon Andy Burnham, former Secretary of State for Health and Mayor of Greater Manchester (Co-chair)
  • Rt Hon Sir Norman Lamb, former Minister for Care and Support (Co-chair)
  • Rt Hon Alistair Burt, Former Minister for Care and Support
  • Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell, former Secretary of State for Health
  • Phil Hope, former Minister of State for Care Services
  • Sally Warren, Director of Policy, the King’s Fund
  • Dr Linda Patterson, former Medical Director of CHI and Vice President of RCP
  • Liz Gaulton, Director of Public Health and Wellbeing, Coventry City Council
  • Peter Hay, former President ADASS 
  • Sir David Behan, former CEX of CQC and Chair of HEE (advisory capacity)
  • Michelle Mitchell, Chief Executive, Cancer Research UK (advisory capacity)
  • Jon Restell, Chief Executive, Managers in Partnership (advisory capacity)
  • Dick Sorabji, Deputy Chief Executive, London Councils (advisory capacity)
  • Sophie Corlett/Karen Mellanby, Directors of External Relations/Networks and Communities respectively, Mind (advisory capacity

It's time to put health devolution under the political spotlight

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