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Chancellor’s Budget cash boost for the NHS

Tagged In:  Department of Health, NHS

Chancellor Philip Hammond has unveiled extra funding for the NHS in his autumn budget.

Of £2.8bn in extra funding for the NHS in England, £350m of that is being made available immediately to help to address the looming pressures this winter. A further £1.6bn will follow for 2018-19 - on top of the £2.1bn rise that was already planned - and the remaining £850 will be available for 2019-20.

However, some observers expressed concern and disappointment that no mention was made of social care, suggesting that without sufficient investment in social care delivery the NHS will struggle to meet patient need.

New money for pay rises

The Chancellor further outlined a £10bn capital investment fund for hospitals up to 2022 and while he made it clear there was no extra funding for nurses pay, he did offer a guarantee that if future pay rises are recommended by an independent body, there will be new money. He also said any pay rises for NHS staff next year – with the 1% pay cap now being lifted - would not need to come from the frontline budget.

Budget reaction

Reaction to the Budget announcement was swift
Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents health service managers, said the extra money was still not enough while Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, welcomed additional funding for pay and the lifting of the pay cap.
Rachel Power, Chief Executive of the Patients Association, felt patients, families and carers will not have been reassured by the Chancellor’s commitments and said the cash injected would be inadequate.

Social care concerns

The Patients Association pointed to there being no sign of a shift toward sustainable long-term settlement for health and described the Chancellor’s complete silence on the ongoing crisis in social care as “deeply disappointing.”

That was echoed by Royal College of Physicians’ President Professor Jane Dacre, who said: “We welcome the Government’s acceptance that the NHS is underfunded and that it is becoming increasingly difficult for the health and social care sector to meet the increasing needs of patients.”

She said many of the current challenges facing the delivery of care are the result of reductions to local authority and social care funding.

“Without sufficient investment in social care delivery,” she added, “it will be increasingly difficult for the NHS to meet patient need, we look forward to seeing the Government Social Care Green Paper on plans for creating a sustainable health and social care system.”

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