Ahead of the long-term plan and multi-year funding settlement for the NHS to be announced by the Prime Minister later this year, the Nuffield Trust, The King's Fund and the Health Foundation wrote to Prime Minister Theresa May to outline important issues for future funding plans.
The letter highlights that:
- The NHS needs a real terms funding increase of around 4% a year as a minimum to prevent further deterioration in standards of patient care.
- Funding increases should be based on the Department for Health and Social Care’s budget (TDEL), rather than NHS England’s budget.
- Funding must be accompanied by reform to ensure it delivers services that meet changing population needs, and dedicated funding should be made available to all parts of the country to accelerate the implementation and uptake of new care models.
- The NHS workforce is facing a crisis. In the short term, visa controls need to be relaxed to recruit more staff from overseas. For the long term, a 10 year workforce strategy must go hand-in-hand with the new funding settlement.
- Social care is failing service users. It is essential that the upcoming green paper outlines proposals for substantial and wide-ranging reform, including a long-term funding settlement aligned with the plan for the NHS.