NHS Providers responds to Autumn Statement
17 November 2022
Responding to the Autumn Statement, the interim chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery said:
"Today's announcement of £3.3bn for the NHS over each of the next two years is a welcome sign that the Treasury has heeded warnings from frontline NHS leaders. It will go some way towards making up the shortfall in NHS budgets caused by inflation and will allow the NHS to deliver on its key priorities.
"Trust leaders will also have heard the chancellor's call for efficiency savings and demands to weed out waste. And while they will rise to the challenge, we must not forget that this announcement follows years of underinvestment in which health spending has fallen below that of comparable European countries.
"Similarly, the chancellor's commitment to publish an independent assessment of NHS workforce needs next year is welcome. This morning, over 100 health and care organisations – including NHS Providers – wrote to the chancellor asking for this and we are pleased our voices have been heard. As a next step, it is essential that this assessment is published in full with an explicit commitment to provide the necessary funding.
"But while there is much trust leaders can welcome in today's Autumn Statement, they are also keenly aware of the extremely challenging state of wider public finances. The impact of double digit inflation will exacerbate the cost of living crisis and consequently, pile on the pressure on the NHS.
"They have seen first-hand the devastating impact that inflation, cost of living and poverty is having on the staff they employ and the patients they treat.
"And while additional funding for social care is similarly welcome, delaying the charging reforms put forward by Sir Andrew Dilnot is a backwards step away from meaningful social care reform, which will continue to leave many people facing unpredictable care costs. Trust leaders are seeing daily how years of under-investment in social care has knock on effects for the NHS with thousands of people staying in hospital longer than needed. We need radical action – and fast."