Chris Receives Positive Response For "A Debate" re NHS Bed-Blocking
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will be meeting in Strasbourg next week, which means that Members on the UK delegation will not be here for the tributes to Tony Lloyd. He was latterly an effective and diligent member of that Assembly, and I hope we will be able to pay our tributes in Strasbourg. We miss his charm and humanity. As a fellow Member who first entered this House in 1983, I had the privilege of knowing him for a very long time.
Will the Leader of the House initiate a debate on the effectiveness or otherwise of integrated care boards? The rationale for the boards was to deal with the interaction between health and social care and to reduce the incidence of bed-blocking. Last week we heard that no fewer than 353 hospital beds in Dorset are occupied by people who do not need them, at a cost of over £100,000 a day, let alone the opportunity cost of missed operations and so on. This is intolerable and shows that the system of integrated care is not working. Can we have a debate?
I thank my hon. Friend for putting on record his beautiful tribute to Tony Lloyd. It would be wonderful if such tributes could also be heard in Strasbourg.
My hon. Friend is right that it is vital that commissioners are held to account. Our NHS will not function properly without accountability and choice. The former Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, my right hon. Friend Steve Barclay, undertook work on patient outcomes data and the quality of commissioning in each board and across the UK, which will help to drive accountability. Now that we have that data, I am sure it will make for a very interesting debate. My hon. Friend knows how to apply for a debate, and he may also wish to raise this matter with the Secretary of State on 23 January.
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