RCoA responds to NHS funding announcement

Responding to the Prime Minister’s announcement that the NHS England budget will be increased by an average 3.4% over the next five years, Dr Liam Brennan, President of the Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA), said:

“The funding settlement comes with a well-meaning commitment to improve our NHS, but falls short of the minimum 4% increase needed to deliver it.

“With this funding package, which makes no specific mention of healthcare training budgets, public health, capital funding or social care, it is very hard to see how the ambition for transformative, integrated care will be realised. Relying on the outcome of Brexit for NHS funding seems inherently uncertain and we look forward to clarity over how this settlement will be funded. As a College and a specialty, we commit to fully cooperating in ensuring that every additional healthcare pound from this settlement is used as efficiently as possible.

“Evidence shows that investment in public health and preventive medicine, delivers significant returns for the NHS in the long-term.  Without dedicated investment to realise the better outcomes and financial savings that a preventative approach can deliver, we are concerned that this vital aspect of healthcare will again be sidelined.

“We hope that these uncertainties will be addressed both in the forthcoming workforce strategy and social care green paper, and with clarity for their funding in the autumn budget and the 2019 Spending Review. This will be critical for delivering a truly integrated health and social care system with an adequately resourced workforce to support it.

“Patients don’t care about the numbers in the NHS budget.  They want access to timely treatment when they are ill, care when they are frail and compassion whenever they face adversity. The NHS's plan for distributing this funding needs to contain an honest message to patients about the service they can expect to receive.

Ultimately the measure of today’s announcement must be improved care for everyone accessing the NHS throughout the UK.”




18 June 2018