Commenting on George Osborne's announcements about NHS spending increases in the Autumn Statement, Nuffield Trust Chief Executive Nigel Edwards said:
"This new funding will bring the NHS through what looked like being an impossible year in 2015/16. Our analysis suggests the extra £1.7bn will mean English health service funding keeps pace with the growing and aging population next year. Further increases like this will be needed every year to 2020, alongside deep reform, for the NHS to keep its current shape and standards. I'm glad the Government has started facing up to the very difficult decisions this will mean.
"£550m of this funding will come from the Department of Health's projected underspend. Taking money from elsewhere in the health budget may not be an option in coming years, as the vast majority already goes towards the NHS and underspends are running out. Future increases will have to be almost entirely new money.
"The £1.5bn boost to general NHS funding will allow organisations and staff some respite from fire-fighting, and make progress where reform is underway. However, it is only around the sum which will be needed to match the growing costs and demand for treatment -- we still need to ensure local leaders have the time and money for long term reform.
"Spending a further £1.1bn over four years to improve general practice and out of hospital services shows the right priorities. GPs working together, often in large organisations, will be the basis for future reforms but they need more money to make this work."
Notes to editors
- The Chancellor today announced that £1.3bn in extra funding would be given to the NHS across the UK in the 2015/16 financial year.
- Over £1bn of this will go to the English NHS. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is to announce on Monday that £700m will be given to the NHS from elsewhere in the Health budget, including £550m from an underspend, giving a total increase of around £1.5bn for the English NHS to spend funding treatment generally, and £200m to address the most financially challenged local areas.
- In addition, the Chancellor has said that £1.1bn from fines levied on fraudulent foreign exchange dealings will go towards improvements in general practice and other out of hospital services over four years.
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