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Healthcare leaders push for better funding ahead of Spring Statement

Healthcare leaders push for better funding ahead of Spring Statement

Health bosses are hopeful that the Spring statement will result in better funding and planning for the NHS

Health bosses are calling on the Government to work collaboratively with healthcare organisations and plan for the NHS's future ahead of the Spring Statement.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond will respond tomorrow (13 March 2018) to the financial forecast from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), while the next major fiscal event will happen in autumn, following Mr Hammond’s decision to deliver only one budget event a year.

Better planning needed

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s Spring Statement, chief executive of the NHS Confederation Niall Dickson said that the current NHS system is no longer sustainable.

He said:  ‘We recognise the difficulties in managing public finances and the competition for resources but the system in which our members are trying to operate is simply not sustainable.

‘We now need to hear from the Chancellor that the government will work with all those involved in health and care to produce a plan for England for the next 15 years with a commitment to meet demands from changing demography and technology and with clear expectations of what these services should be able to provide.’

NHS Providers deputy chief executive Saffron Cordery said: ‘We are looking for evidence that the Government understands the gravity of the funding challenges facing health and social care and starts putting in train steps to arrive at a sustainable long term funding settlement.’

‘Most challenging winter on record’

In November, Mr Hammond earmarked an extra £335m for NHS trusts to help them tackle winter pressures, despite the head of NHS England Simons Stevens previously calling on politicians to honour the promises made during the Brexit campaign to give an extra £350m a week to the health service.  

Despite the extra money invested in the NHS, hospitals were forced to delay all non-essential operationsto cope with the ‘sustained pressure’ on the NHS over the Christmas period, while a report by NHS Improvement published last month found that there were around 100,000 staff vacancies across the NHS.

British Medical Association (BMA) council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: ‘The NHS has just endured the most challenging winter on record, in which we saw the perfect storm of unprecedented demand, staff shortages and lack of resources collide in the face of underfunding, leaving hospitals running at absolute capacity and patients facing unacceptable waits in ambulances and corridors.

‘The Government must now follow it up with a promise to invest properly in the NHS to fund the extra staff and resources that are so desperately needed to ensure high quality and safe patient care.’


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