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'£4bn needed to stop NHS care deteriorating'

8 November, 2017

'£4bn needed to stop NHS care deteriorating'

Leading health charities warn that the government must find at least £4bn more in the budget for the NHS to stop patient care deteriorating next year.

Based on the government’s current spending plans, analysis from the Health Foundation, The King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust estimates there will be a funding gap of at least £20bn by 2022/23.
 
The analysis underlines that 2018/19 will be a crunch year for the NHS, with funding per person projected to fall by 0.3%. 

The three organisations warn that unless spending starts to rise to match the demands facing the service – an increase of at least £4bn in 2018/19 – patients will wait longer for treatment, more services will be rationed and quality of care will deteriorate.
 
The briefing argues that reductions in public health budgets are a false economy that are resulting in cuts to key services and storing up problems for the future. It calls on the government to use the budget to reverse further planned cuts to public health budgets.
 
The organisations also argue that a new independent body should be established to assess long-term health and care spending in place of the short-termism that has plagued NHS and social care funding decisions.

The Health Foundation’s chief executive Jennifer Dixon said: ‘Without proper investment now the NHS will slip well below the standards and outcomes of health care provided by our European neighbours. This is entirely avoidable. An extra £4bn in 2018/19 would simply be a return to the average increases of the first 63 years of the NHS’s history. The additional funding required is not exceptional, it is the last seven years of austerity that are the exception.’
 
Read the full analysis briefing here.
 

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