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.

The Rt Rev’d James Newcome