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Long-term sustainability of NHS discussed in the Lords

19 April 2024

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On Thursday 18 April, members of the House of Lords debated the long-term sustainability of the NHS to deliver comprehensive, timely and affordable health and social care for all, including options for systems of care and funding.


Lord Patel (Crossbench), former professor of obstetrics at Ninewells Hospital, University of Dundee, put forward the debate.

This was a general debate. During debates, members put their experience to good use to discuss current issues and draw the government's attention to concerns.      

Members speaking

Contributing members included:

Opening the debate, Lord Patel said: 

'The current state of the NHS is not because of some inevitable built-in decay; it is a system failure. It is the result of decades of political short-termism, a lack of long-term planning and an underinvestment in capital infrastructure and technology.'

Responding on behalf of the government, Lord Markham (Conservative), Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health and Social Care, said:

'We spend about 10% of our GDP on the NHS right now. It is going up as a proportion year after year.

'Therefore, I think that what we can all unite on right now is that this is an argument not about pumping in lots more money but about finding other ways to try to make the NHS more sustainable.'

Catch up

Watch the Parliament TV recording or read the Lords Hansard transcript.

Explore background information  

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