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Royal Commission debated in Parliament

    The subject of an NHS Royal Commission was raised in Parliament yesterday during Prime Minister's Questions, following the publication earlier this week of "A Royal Commission for the NHS: The Remit" written by Lord Saatchi and Dominic Nutt and published by the Centre for Policy Studies.

    Dr Andrew Murrison asked the Prime Minister during PMQs to consider the proposal as detailed in Lord Saatchi's report:

    "With record funding, our NHS is doing more than ever, but when the UK is in the bottom third of countries for heart-attack deaths, when we have significantly worse survival rates for stroke than France and Germany, and when our closest matches for cancer survival are Chile and Poland, is it not time to act on calls from all parts of the House, backed this week by the Centre for Policy Studies, to establish a royal commission on health and social care in this, the 70th anniversary year of our most cherished national institution?"

    In the House of Commons debate followed PMQs, Norman Lamb, former Liberal Democrat Health Minister, asked Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to consider the idea:

    "90 colleagues from all parts of the House, including many Conservatives, are offering a different approach—a cross-party mature conversation to find a solution. Lord Saatchi, Baroness Cavendish and Nick Timothy are now arguing for the same thing. Will he now embrace that approach—a civilised approach to come up with a consensus for this country on how we secure our health and care system?"

    Dame Caroline Spelman addressed the continued use of the NHS as a political weapon and challenged the Labour Party "to give up the vote-harvesting approach to the NHS and to support a royal commission on health and social care for the sake of everyone who needs it."

    Huw Merriman spoke about the lack of integration between different parts of the health service and said "we need great reform, therefore, and I add my support to the voices on both sides of the House saying that perhaps a royal commission is the way to take this forward."

    Three leading MPs were also quizzed on their support for an NHS Royal Commission by Jon Snow on Channel 4 News. All three agreed that action was needed to address to current crisis and secure the NHS' future. 

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