Less than needed: more than expected – NHS Providers response to the Budget
22 November 2017
- The chancellor delivers 2017 Autumn Budget
- Announcements include extra funding for capital investment, NHS pay and to help trusts prepare for this winter
- We say new funding is less than the NHS needed but more than was expected, tough choices will be needed and trade-offs will have to be made on what the service can deliver in 2018/19
The chancellor, Phillip Hammond, has delivered his first Autumn Budget.
While acknowledging that the health service was under pressure, the chancellor announced funding that included:
- An extra £1.6bn of revenue funding in 2018/19
- An immediate £350m to help trusts prepare for this winter
- Additional funding for capital investment over the course of the parliament
- An end to the pay cap for staff on the agenda for change contracts, based on recommendations by the pay review bodies.
Responding to the Budget, the chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, said:
“NHS providers needed three things from the Budget: extra revenue for day to day spending in 2018/19; more capital funding for transformation and tackling the maintenance backlog; and fully funding the ending of the 1 per cent pay cap.
“The NHS has been given £1.6 billion extra revenue for 2018/19; £3.5 billion extra capital funded by the treasury; and the government has committed to fund the main NHS pay rise. In addition, the government has committed extra capital and extra revenue for this year, though this has come very late to be used with maximum impact for this winter.
It is a clear signal that the government has listened to the NHS’ definitive statement that the existing spending review plans for 2018/19 were undeliverable.
“Any extra investment in the NHS is welcome given the overall economic context and the other demands on public expenditure. It is a clear signal that the government has listened to the NHS’ definitive statement that the existing spending review plans for 2018/19 were undeliverable.
“However it is disappointing that the government has not been able to give the NHS all that it needed to deal with rising demand, fully recover performance targets, consistently maintain high quality patient care and meet the NHS’s capital requirements. We also note that the extra revenue has been tied to acute hospital performance at a point when the pressures across the rest of the health service – community, mental health and ambulance services – are just as great.
“Tough choices are now needed and trade offs will have to be made. It is difficult to see how the NHS can deliver everything in 2018/19, for example fully recovering performance targets. The next step is a conversation with frontline leaders to clearly agree what can and can not be done.
Tough choices are now needed and trade offs will have to be made. It is difficult to see how the NHS can deliver everything in 2018/19, for example fully recovering performance targets.
“We are also still trying to live hand to mouth without a sustainable long term financial and capital settlement for the health and care sector. This makes it impossible to plan effectively. The existing gap between demand and funding is still scheduled to grow significantly by the end of the parliament and we must address this underlying problem.
“Overall this new funding is less than the NHS needed but more than was expected. But, as always, NHS trusts will do their absolute best to provide the highest quality care for patients within the funding settlement that’s been allocated.”
Read our Budget submission to the Treasury.