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Budget ‘must deliver’ boost to NHS

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21 November 2017

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The need for more cash for the NHS has ‘cut through’ the din of competing interests in the run up to the autumn budget, according to a health boss.

Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers said that there was a new consensus which recognised the challenges  it faces and ‘the risks we run if  we continue to ask more of the health service than it can deliver within the current budget restraints.’

The need for more cash for the NHS has ‘cut through’ the din of competing interests in the run up to the autumn budget, according to a health boss.

Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers said that there was a new consensus which recognised the challenges  it faces and ‘the risks we run if  we continue to ask more of the health service than it can deliver within the current budget restraints.’

He said the turning point came when NHS England’s boss Simon Stevens ‘spelled out with absolute clarity’ the cost to patients unless the NHS got more funding.

He told delegates at this month’s NHS Providers conference that the waiting list could reach five million people, if the Chancellor Philip Hammond failed to provide more money.

Mr Hopson commented: ‘Performance has been slipping, funding, falling back and brilliant staff who have held things together through all the tough times have been turning their backs on the NHS. It’s vital that the Chancellor heeds these warnings and delivers a sustainable funding settlement for the NHS in the Budget.’

Think tanks the King’s Fund, Nuffield Trust and the Health Foundation said Mr Hammond needs to stump up an extra £4bn to prevent NHS care from deteriorating next year.

They also want the Chancellor to provide extra money for pay rises, instead of expecting overstretched trusts to find the cash.

The King’s Fund chief executive warned: ‘After seven years of austerity, the dramatic improvements made in health care over the past 20 years are at risk of slipping away. The message is clear – unless the government finds the money the NHS and social care need, patients, service users and their families will suffer the consequences.’

Hitesh Dodia, superintendent pharmacist at online company Pharmacy Outlet wants to see more money to invest in digitisation.

He said: ‘By putting money into digitising the processes used every day by doctors, nurses, GPs and pharmacists, the Government can achieve long-term cost savings by dramatically improving efficiency. Ultimately, highly skilled (but very busy) medical professionals should not spend excessive amount of time on laborious form-filling or information gathering – investing in new technology can achieve this.’

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