North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb urges Prime Minister Theresa May to set up new body to find NHS and social care solution

Norman Lamb MP speaks at the Liberal Democrats Autumn conference in Brighton, Sussex. PRESS ASSOCIAT

Norman Lamb MP speaks at the Liberal Democrats Autumn conference in Brighton, Sussex. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday September 17, 2016. See PA story POLITICS LibDems. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire - Credit: PA

A Norfolk MP is leading cross-party calls for a new 'NHS and Care Convention' to be tasked with finding a long-term solution to the 'crisis' in health and social care funding.

Norman Lamb, the MP for North Norfolk and former health minister, is spearheading a campaign of 23 MPs who say there is widespread recognition that the NHS and social care system are under 'unsustainable strain' and that pressures on the system are increasing.

Mr Lamb will today urge Theresa May at Prime Minister's Questions to meet with the MPs to discuss the proposal.

Mrs May has repeatedly said the government has given the NHS the £8bn it asked for in NHS England chief Simon Stevens' FIve Year Forward View - though observers believe the real-terms increase over this Parliament will be around £4.5bn.

And health secretary Jeremy Hunt told Parliament on Monday that the health service is coping well given the increase in demand.

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The proposed convention would 'engage patients, the public, civic society, staff, trade unions, and providers of health and care services in a national conversation about a sustainable NHS and care system'.

'Building a sustainable health and care system that can provide high-quality care can't be realised without putting aside party political point-scoring,' Mr Lamb said.

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'The public are sick and tired of the NHS and care system being treated like a political football.

'People have had enough, and are crying out for an honest discussion and bold solutions to these challenges.'

The statement has been signed by 23 MPs across the political spectrum.

These include Sarah Wollaston, Conservative chairman of the Health Select Committee, Labour's Chuka Umunna and Liz Kendall, and new Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Olney.

In addition - an open letter has been written to Mrs May, signed by 75 health and care organisations, which urges her to pursue a cross-party process.

The letter, which has been co-ordinated by Independent Age, is backed by organisations such as the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, Care England, The Patients' Association, The Royal College of GPs, The Royal College of Nursing, and Marie Curie.

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