Express & Star

Black Country MP: We can't keep throwing money at the NHS without radical reform

A Black Country MP has called for a move towards a "preventative health system" as part of a "radical reform" of the NHS.

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Suzanne Webb MP

Suzanne Webb said there needed to be a "big focus" in stopping people from being admitted to hospital in the first place instead of "throwing money" at acute care.

The Conservative MP for Stourbridge said admissions could be greatly reduced by early diagnosis and more "virtual wards" so people can be treated at home.

It comes after an Express & Star investigation revealed the daily struggles of NHS staff faced with unprecedented levels of demand.

Ms Webb said: "We cannot keep throwing money at the NHS without radical reform, including social care reform.

"If it was all about funding them the outcomes would be improving but that is not the case, so a rethink is desperately needed.

"My own view is we need to move towards a preventative health system and away from acute treatment. One of the big issues is how much of the NHS budget goes into acute care in hospitals – care that is becoming ever more complex and expensive.

"More work to stop patients having to be admitted through a big focus on early diagnosis, help with weight and lifestyle, the use of technology such as more virtual wards to treat people at home and regular medical checks is going to help but it will require a big shift in priorities.

"However, an ageing population is going to make this a challenge and how we are going to properly fund social care provision is going to need political consensus and a thorough debate."