Level 2

NHS requires extra ?8bn in funding or risks long-term plan failing

By Caoimhe Toman

Date: Tuesday 18 Jun 2019

NHS requires extra ?8bn in funding or risks long-term plan failing

(Sharecast News) - The UK government needs to spend an extra £8bn on the NHS to keep it afloat or risk the service's long-term plan failing, revealed new analysis from the Health Foundation.
The analysis, which was endorsed by the NHS Confederation, shows that the public healthcare system needed the extra funds on top of the £20.5bn budget boost already promised by Theresa May or it would struggle in the long-term.

According to the Department of Health and Social Care, waiting times were set to keep getting worse as hospitals remained overstretched.

The next prime minister will have to increase the budget to £163bn or the NHS's long-term plans for meeting the demands from an ageing and growing population would be at risk.

Even without any improvements in the quality or range of services, the Health Foundation projections suggested that over the next 5 years, acute and specialist hospital activity would rise by at least 2.7% per year as a function of increased demand.

Currently, the system only has enough capacity to increase demand by 2.3% each year.

With no action, its budget was set to rise by 1.4% a year, well below the 3.4% needed.

Another key issue were staffing levels, with the study finding that the NHS would need at least £900m extra a year to finance the recruitment and training of the health professionals needed to tackle its chronic manpower shortage.

Capital spending, used to build and renovate buildings, buy equipment and invest in IT - will need to rise by an extra £4.4bn, taking the funds budgeted for that chapter from £5.9bn to £10.3bn.

"Failure to address this in the next spending review will put the ambitions of the NHS plan in jeopardy, and patients will not feel the full benefits of the extra £20 billion of funding," Nial Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation said.

"This may look like a bounty when compared with other public services, but it will not be enough unless there is investment in those other neglected areas."

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