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17.10.18

Health organisations in Autumn Budget appeal over social care and public health funding

A group of health faculties and royal colleges have urged the chancellor to use the autumn budget to invest long-term in adult social care and health services or “risk the NHS failing to meet demands.”

In a letter addressed to Philip Hammond, Matt Hancock and the health policy lead James Kent, they warned that without building on NHS settlement funding, plans for truly integrated care won’t be possible, which in turn will make demand on NHS services unmanageable.

The 11 health organisations called for Hammond to make a long-term investment in adult social care, public health services and workforce in the Autumn Budget, saying “there is no excuse for the delay.”

They wrote: “Once again, we face a winter of high bed occupancy and low staff morale, which an injection of adult social care funding will significantly alleviate.”

The letter was jointly signed by the by the Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of Surgeons, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Royal College of Anaesthetists, Royal College of Psychiatrists, Royal College of Nursing, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Public Health and Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare.

Its estimated that by 2025, adult social care services in England will face a £3.5bn funding gap, which “needs to be plugged, and a long-term funding solution identified, as a matter of urgency,” the report said.

The letter says that a healthier population is the key to long-term sustainability of all public services and that there is strong evidence that prevention interventions are cost effective both for the short- and long-term, and reduce health inequalities.

The 11 organisations concluded: “We can no longer afford to plan and fund health and care services in isolation. A stronger strategy to make sure we live both long and healthy lives must start now.”

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Image credit - Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/PA Images

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