NHS finances and services still stretched to the limit

14 May 2024

NHS spending has risen less quickly than was planned at the last election according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).

Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive, NHS Providers, said:

"The NHS has been through its toughest financial year ever as budgets and services are stretched to the limit in the face of mounting demand and pressure.

"We can't go on like this. Waiting lists were getting longer before the pandemic after years of underfunding and severe staff shortages right across hospital, mental health, community health and ambulance services.

"Financial challenges make a tough job even tougher. The government's last Budget gave the NHS some welcome extra funding but trusts are still feeling the pinch, having to find unprecedented efficiency savings with little in reserve to deal with rising demand.

"It's a credit to trusts that despite financial challenges they are reducing the longest waits for treatment and continuing to work flat out to see patients as quickly as they can.

"Trust leaders want a shift towards long-term planning and investment in health services rather than a stop-start approach to NHS funding. The next government needs to work with the 'next generation' NHS to create the picture of health we all want to see."