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22.11.17

Providers: ‘Tough choices’ must be made as extra Budget cash falls short

Philip Hammond has announced that the NHS will receive £6.3bn extra funding from the government by 2022-23, although providers have stated that this money is still some way short of the figure needed for the health service to continue effectively delivering services.

The cash was announced during the eagerly anticipated Budget today, and is split into £3.5bn in capital by 2022-23, and an additional £2.8bn of resource funding to improve trust performance. 

The chancellor also said that the government would meet the costs of bringing the 1% pay cap to an end.

“The government will invest £3.5bn in capital by 2022-23, to ensure patients receive high quality, integrated care and improve efficiency and productivity,” Hammond’s Budget reads.

“The government will also provide an additional £2.8bn of resource funding to improve NHS performance and ensure that more patients receive the care they need more quickly.

“This is a significant first step towards meeting the government’s commitment to increase NHS spending by a minimum of £8bn in real terms by the end of this Parliament.”

In the Naylor Review released in April this year, it was announced that £10bn was required to fully finance STP reforms, and Hammond’s announcement falls someway short of meeting this target.

Though he welcomed the new money, chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, commented that it would still not be enough to equip the health service to deliver services.

“It is disappointing that the government has not been able to give the NHS all that it needed to deal with rising demand, fully recover performance targets, consistently maintain high quality patient care and meet the NHS’s capital requirements,” he said.

“We also note that the extra revenue has been tied to acute hospital performance at a point when the pressures across the rest of the health service – community, mental health and ambulance services – are just as great.

“Tough choices are now needed and trade-offs will have to be made. It is difficult to see how the NHS can deliver everything in 2018/19, for example fully recovering performance targets. The next step is a conversation with frontline leaders to clearly agree what can and cannot be done.”

The Providers CEO also said that trusts were still trying to live “hand to mouth” without a sustainable long term financial and capital settlement for the health and care sector.

“This makes it impossible to plan effectively,” he added. “The existing gap between demand and funding is still scheduled to grow significantly by the end of the parliament and we must address this underlying problem.

“Overall this new funding is less than the NHS needed but more than was expected. But, as always, NHS trusts will do their absolute best to provide the highest quality care for patients within the funding settlement that’s been allocated.”

Top Image: Richard Gray EMPICS Entertainment

Comments

Mike Roberts   22/11/2017 at 17:53

How many times does J Hunt invent the £10 billion into the NHS when the Health Select committee says that its only £4.5BN and over 5 years for the STPs. No wonder his management of the NHS is wanting

Mike V   22/11/2017 at 20:20

humbug

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