Care minister and Norfolk MP Norman Lamb will warn NHS integration is not a luxury

Care minister Norman Lamb

Care minister Norman Lamb - Credit: PA

Care minister Norman Lamb will today warn that the NHS will 'get nowhere' unless it is better integrated.

In a speech at the health charity the King's Fund, the minister will say that co-ordiation is 'not a luxury' and the health system, social care system and local government all need to work together amid rising drug prices and a growing population.

Mr Lamb will say that a network of integration 'pioneers' - which will be announced soon - will be a potent weapon in providing evidence for his plans.

The North Norfolk MP will say at today's Integrated Care Summit in London: 'Integration is not a luxury to be pursued when money is plentiful and abandoned when things get more difficult. Quite the opposite – today, integration is more important than ever. It is important precisely because of those tight budgets – because if we integrate now, services will go up just as costs come down.'

He will spell out that integration can help to improve people's health and simultaneously save money.

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He will add: 'The fact is, in the 65 years since the NHS was founded the typical patient has changed. Less and less, they have a single, relatively straightforward ailment like a broken leg or a hernia. More and more, they have a cocktail of long term conditions, social care needs and physical injuries as well.

'It is unrealistic to ask an NHS designed for one thing, to be perfect at something completely different. Particularly given more expensive drugs and the rising population.

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'But the one thing we need people to know is that today's health challenges are 100pc manageable as long as the health system, the care system and local government all work together.'

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