What's on the agenda this month
by Philippa Keir, Health & Social Care Policy Executive
Following the party conference season we expect to see Parliament kicking into full swing this October; with the Brexit walls closing in, the pressure heating up over this month’s Autumn Budget revelations, and the much anticipated Adult Social Care Green Paper due to emerge “before Christmas”, this month is looking likely to see a great deal of change for the health and social care sector.
As to be expected, discussions around the possibility of a no-deal Brexit will continue to dominate the agenda this October, especially with the final technical notice on ‘Customs and Borders’ still yet to be published. With Novartis’ Grimsby site closing down last month, and halts imposed on Recardio’s drug development in light of no-deal Brexit concerns, the discussions over the border and customs this month will have a monumental impact on the stability of the pharmaceutical industry in the UK.
Over the coming weeks, we should also expect to see mental health at the forefront of Westminster, with the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill reaching the Committee Stage in the House of Lords; the Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit commencing; World Mental Health Day; and the NHS Digital publishing both Mental Health Act Statistics and Mental Health Services Monthly Statistics.
As we start to approach winter, the question still holds as to how the NHS plans to cope with increasing demand? Will Matt Hancock’s pledge to invest £240 million be enough? Will the government’s plan to combat the growth of antimicrobial resistance be effective? What impact will the flu jab have on protecting the UK’s most vulnerable? These are the questions that we hope to see October reveal the answers.
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Philippa Keir is DeHavilland's policy specialist for Health. She previously worked for a public affairs consultancy, and read History and Politics at the University of Exeter.