Notwithstanding the commitment by the Prime Minister to award an extra £384 million a week for the NHS, Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt has vowed to “do battle” with the Treasury to secure the money he needs to reform the social care system and free up hospital beds, without which he thinks that the extra money for the NHS will be wasted.
He says: “There is a total understanding across government that the health and social care systems are interdependent and that to make this settlement work we also need a long-term plan for the social care system as the next step. We know that the success of the NHS plan depends on doing the right thing for social care as well.”
However, Hunt is not a one trick pony on how NHS resources should be spent. He argues strongly for a workforce plan to train enough doctors and nurses. Before the 70th anniversary of the NHS on July 3 he will also outline plans to exploit new technology and to improve mental health care. He says: “In 10 years’ time we will be talking about how technology has transformed health. We have three of the world’s top 10 medical research universities. We invented IVF and Cat scanners. We decoded DNA. We can capitalise on it. That means using artificial intelligence to diagnose