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King’s Fund asks Hunt: How will seven-day care be funded?


17 July 2015

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Yesterday, the secretary of state set out his 25-year vision for the NHS, but Chris Ham, chief executive of The King’s Fund says the £8 billionn increase will not cover his seven-day care plans.

Ham welcomed seven-day care as “the right ambition” but branded it “difficult to deliver”.

Yesterday, the secretary of state set out his 25-year vision for the NHS, but Chris Ham, chief executive of The King’s Fund says the £8 billionn increase will not cover his seven-day care plans.

Ham welcomed seven-day care as “the right ambition” but branded it “difficult to deliver”.

This was partly due to challenges to ensure sufficient numbers of staff are available at the weekend, and also “the question about how it will be paid for”, he added.

“The £8 billion increase in the NHS budget the government has pledged by 2020 is the bare minimum needed to maintain standards of care and will not cover the additional costs associated with a seven-day NHS,” he said.

However, The King’s Fund said there was “much to welcome” from Hunt’s speech, including the continued focus on safety and quality of care, and the emphasis on transparency and learning, rather than target-driven systems.

Ham commented: “Many of the themes in the speech will strike a chord with NHS staff but they will take time to deliver results.

"The test will be whether the emphasis on devolution and self-improvement can be maintained in the face of short-term political imperatives – ministers invariably find it difficult to resist intervening, particularly when NHS performance declines,” he said.

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