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  1. ITV Report

Bishop backs report calling for urgent NHS changes

The Rt Rev’d James Newcome. Credit: Parliament TV

The Bishop of Carlisle has helped to produce a report criticising successive governments for "short-term thinking" over the NHS.

The report was published today by a House of Lords Committee, on which the Bishop sits.

It argues that more money needs to be dedicated to social care, to support a growing and ageing population.

The report also calls for a halt to cuts of the NHS budget, and suggests medical staff should be paid more to boost morale.

The Rt Rev’d James Newcome - the Church of England’s lead bishop on health and social care - told ITV Border that without change, the "strain on services will be intolerable".

Here are some of the key recommendations outlined in the report.

  • Money allocated to social care spending in the 2017 budget is ‘clearly insufficient’ - more resources are needed
  • A new, independent Office for Health and Care Sustainability should be established to look at health care needs for the next 15 to 20 years
  • The pay of NHS Doctors, Nurses and other medical staff has been constrained too much and this is damaging morale and retention of staff
  • Cuts to funding for the public health budget are short-sighted and counter-productive

Bishop James also said patients need to take more responsibility for the way in which they use the NHS, to reduce demand on services.

There is also a huge process of education that needs to take place for the population-at-large so that people can understand how much it costs to run the NHS, what it costs to see a doctor and what the costs are to the service when people fail to turn up for appointments.

That needs to be complemented with more education around public health and lifestyle issues because the cost to the nation due to obesity, alcohol, tobacco and lack of exercise is tremendous and impacts massively on the services provided by our NHS.

– The Rt Rev’d James Newcome