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Health and social care to cost £200bn by 2030

Health and social care costs are set to increase by £50bn by 2030, according to Lord Darzi’s interim report.

The report, published yesterday by Lord Darzi, argues that the founding principles of the NHS must be reaffirmed, with a commitment to a long-term funding settlement and reform plan.

Darzi says that by 2030, demand pressures will rise to £200bn in today’s prices without changes to the way the NHS works.

Social care alone will require an extra £10bn by that time just to maintain the existing system provision, which is known to be “inadequate” and in need of reform, which is likely to require even more resources.

Commenting on the report, Dr. Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, warned that the NHS will continue to suffer unless decisive action is taken.

He said: “This report echoes the BMA’s long-standing concerns that the quality and timeliness of care on the NHS is seriously suffering due to lack of adequate resources and will heighten unless decisive action is taken.  

“With hospital targets being routinely missed, social care on the brink of collapse and patients unable to reliably access general practice, it is clear that the NHS cannot cope without significantly greater funding.”

Referring to the shortage of social care funding, he added: “Some of the most vulnerable people are being failed because the system simply doesn’t have the resources or staff to meet their needs.”

Nagpaul called for politicians to set out a future plan of sustained and increased levels of funding for the NHS to help staff to provide high quality care.

“The government’s approach of cash top-ups and short-term fixes will no longer do.  The Prime Minister recently pledged to draw up a long-term funding plan for the NHS but, with funding lagging behind that of other comparable European countries, we need the government to provide concrete details and ensure that resources are made available urgently,” he added.

Head of health at Unison, Sara Gorton, said that the NHS and social care system will be “damaged beyond repair” without substantial extra funding each year.

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, chair of the Local Government Association’s community and wellbeing board, welcomed the report, and commented: “The forecast that adult social care will need an extra £10 billion by 2030 just to maintain existing service provision – a more dire position than that facing the NHS – must serve as a wake-up call for concerted action to address the serious financial challenges adult social care is experiencing now and will continue to face in years to come without a sustainable funding solution.

“This action requires consensus and cross-party support from across the political divide.”


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