In 2012 The King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust held a series of events in Parliament, which looked beyond recent reforms to discuss the next wave of challenges facing the health and social care system.
The debate at each event was driven by a cross-party panel of MPs and peers alongside representatives from both The King’s Fund and Nuffield Trust, and clinical expert speakers. The audience included a range of MPs and peers, together with professional and patient representatives.
This viewpoint features personal reflections by eight of the parliamentarian speakers, based on their speeches and observations at the events.
The series of seminars from which this collection of short essays springs was organised with the aim of providing a forum to once again bring together a range of political views on health and social care – with an eye not to a particular piece of legislation, but to the broader issues facing usBaroness Williams, from the foreword
They offer a range of views and perspectives, united by a commitment to see Westminster play its part in resolving some of the most challenging issues in health and social care. The publication includes a foreword from Baroness Williams, who was instrumental in shaping this initiative.
Political consensus on a subject as complex and emotive as the health service can be hard to find: the recent debates over the Government’s reforms are a reminder of this.
Politicians of all parties owe it to the public to have an honest dialogue here, rather than trying to exploit confrontations for short-term political gainRt Hon Stephen Dorrell MP, Health Select Committee Chair and contributor
But the politicians who attended the seminars that inspired this publication all showed a willingness to engage in informed debate about the crucial issues facing health and social care. There was a striking consensus among them that primary care will be central to meeting the challenges of the future.
Nuffield Trust (2013) The view from Westminster: parliamentarians on the future of health and social care. Viewpoint. Nuffield Trust.