latest health care news

02.05.17

Dickson calls on politicians to link NHS spending to GDP

NHS Confederation has today told the campaigning political parties to pledge a fixed % of GDP to health spending to ensure that investment increases as the economy succeeds.

It has also stated that it would like to see an Office of Budgetary Responsibility for Health and Care set up to provide arms-length advice to the government on what level of funding is needed to support the NHS.

On top of that, the Confederation also called for a £2bn a year transformation fund to begin the work bringing the service up to required standards to meet growing patient demand.  

Niall Dickson, chief executive at the NHS confederation, said: “It is time for society as a whole to face up to the health and care challenge and to bring evidence and some certainty to what is one of the greatest challenges facing this country.”

He also reiterated a message sent last week by the RCGP to not allow the debate about fixing the NHS to be eclipsed by talk about Brexit.

“This election is understandably going to be dominated by Brexit, but unless we act soon we will face another daunting issue – a health and care system that is simply incapable of meeting modern needs,” Dickson argued.

“Already one in eight elderly people in England are being denied the social care support they need and the number of over-85s in the UK, who are the greatest users of health and care, is set to double over the next 20 years.”
 
Dickson added that NHS Confederation welcomed the government’s recent pledge for extra social care funding and the prime minister’s commitment to produce a long-term answer for social care.

But there is also a need to establish some hard measures and to bring some independent analysis to both health and care funding, Dickson said.
  

“We also believe the next government should commit to a funding level for health and care that is linked to our GDP, as with defence and international development spending.  As the economy grows, so should health and care spending,” he argued.

“This would establish more certainty around future investment and greater clarity on the collective view of what resources are needed to deliver safe and effective services.

“We currently spend 10% of GDP on health and care funding, which is significantly less than the comparable economies of France and Germany.”

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