The chief executive of the NHS Confederation has called this week’s budget announcement by Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond a “missed opportunity”, saying it does little to tackle the challenges facing the NHS.
Responding to the Budget, Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare system, said: “This is another missed opportunity and falls well short of what is needed to relieve the massive pressures facing the NHS today.
“Over the years the NHS has required increases of around 4% above inflation to deal with demand and maintain services. What the Government is promising for next year represents around 1.4% plus whatever is allocated to cover the lift in the pay cap.
“Of course the extra money announced is welcome as is the promise of more capital and some more funds for this year. It was better than we expected but it does not begin to take account of the enormous challenges we have to confront over the next few years.
“What is more the Chancellor did not even mention social care – the extra £1 billion for this year and next year was totally inadequate and will leave health and social care unable to meet demand and more importantly thousands of older people without the care and support they need.
“We have consistently argued that the health and care funding challenge will not be addressed until politicians face up to the reality of what confronts us and until there is consensus for the longer term around what as a society we are willing to pay for.”