Our NHS is desperate for extra resources, but the current spending will not be enough to ease the pressure on the NHS and prevent harmful cuts.
3 key questions on NHS funding
Why are we cutting spending in some important areas of health?
Why are we spending less per head and as proportion of our GDP?
Why are we asking the NHS to find £22bn of savings which many experts think will be harmful to services?
Health Economist Anita Charlesworth has pointed out that the government has not increased all parts of the health budget. Some areas will experience large cuts. Junior doctor training, health visiting, sexual health and vaccinations will all face a real terms reduction of 20% by 2020/21. She said after the Chancellor's Autumn statement, "Make no mistake, these are cuts to front-line NHS services and will directly impact on patient care."
Over the next 5 years the NHS needs £30bn, but has only been promised 8bn. It has to find £22bn in efficiency savings, but many inside the service feel this is unachievable, including nine out of ten of NHS finance directors.
Over the last 5 years real health spending has risen by 0.9% each year (2010-15). The lowest of any Parliament. The NHS budget is not growing with the economy, consequently we now spend less than the OECD average (% of GDP). Less than Finland and Slovinia and we are planning to spend even less of our GDP on the NHS in future. In fact in 2020 we will be spending the same per head of population as we were in 2010.
All the indicators are that we are asking the NHS to do more but not giving it the funding to deliver. We are already seeing the consequences on staff, patients and the finances of our hospitals.
Please let me know what you can do to help secure adequate funding for the NHS.