The new coalition. Theresa May holds talks with Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb over NHS

Norman Lamb, North Norfolk MP. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Norman Lamb, North Norfolk MP. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Prime minister Theresa May has held discussions with political rivals including North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb following a plea for cross-party talks about the future of the NHS.

Liberal Democrat health spokesman Norman Lamb welcomed Mrs May's decision to sanction cross-party discussions with her newly-appointed health adviser, James Kent. Central Suffolk and North Ipswich Conservative MP Dan Poulter also joined the delegation.

Mr Lamb said the discussion had been 'constructive'.

'Mrs May seemed willing to engage in a serious dialogue about how best to secure the future of our NHS and social care services.

'The public are crying out for politicians to stop shouting at each other, and instead work together to make difficult decisions to ensure that patients get the right care and treatment when they need it,' he said.

It comes after Mr Lamb, Labour MP Liz Kendall and Dr Poulter issued a joint statement warning of 'existential challenges' to the health system due to a shortage of funding and gaps in social care.

'Partisan politics has failed to come up with solutions,' the three MPs said in September.

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'We fear that we will lose an institution that we all hold dear, unless we take action.'

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