Responding to the Labour party’s ‘mini manifesto’ on health and social care, Nuffield Trust Chief Executive Nigel Edwards said:
It would be greatly welcomed if all major parties could reach a consensus on this required funding so that the NHS can go into the next parliament with certainty about its future.Nigel Edwards, Chief Executive of the Nuffield Trust
“There can be no doubting the Labour Party’s commitment to the NHS. Today’s health and care manifesto contains a plethora of proposals in response to some of the most significant challenges facing the health service.
“Many of the principles behind these proposals are entirely sensible and are to be welcomed, such as improving mental health, dealing with the fragmentation of health and social care, and boosting the morale of the NHS workforce.
“But the level of detail set out in this document is somewhat concerning. The NHS is complex and often responds best to locally driven initiatives. There is a risk that elements of this detailed approach could trigger further reorganisation within the health service.
“The NHS already has a plan setting out how it needs to reform over the next five years, which has been endorsed by all leading organisations in the sector. But NHS England's Five Year Forward View is not mentioned in Labour’s mini manifesto, which is regrettable.
“The Forward View clearly implies that a minimum of £8bn extra money is needed, along with significant and stretching efficiency savings, to enable the NHS to break even by 2020. Anything less than this amount is likely to have serious consequences for the viability of the service in future.
“Labour are now the only of the three main parties not to have committed to this £8bn and yet their proposals are likely to require more, not less, spending on the NHS. It would be greatly welcomed if all major parties could reach a consensus on this required funding so that the NHS can go into the next parliament with certainty about its future.”