The Budget: welcome support for vaccinations but social care overlooked yet again

03 March 2021


Responding to the Budget 2021, announced by chancellor Rishi Sunak, the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery said:

"The chancellor was right to praise the NHS for its efforts to tackle COVID-19 and rolling out the vaccine in his Budget today. While his statement was light on announcements for the NHS, we are urging the government to reaffirm its commitment to giving the NHS whatever it needs to deal with COVID-19.

It is good news that the UK's vaccination programme will receive an extra £1.65bn.

Saffron Cordery    Deputy Chief Executive

"It is good news that the UK's vaccination programme will receive an extra £1.65bn. The vaccination rollout is a source of national pride and we commend everyone involved in planning and delivering this hugely, complex programme.

"But as the chancellor said in his statement today, the profound damage caused by the pandemic is not over yet. These continue to be uncertain times for health and care services, which are still dealing with the immediate pressures of COVID-19 and face a challenging legacy of the pandemic for years to come. It is vital that more money is provided to cover additional COVID-19 costs in 2021/22 as and when they arise.

The reality is that in the longer term, we will need to see further investment to help the health service meet the increased demand.

Saffron Cordery    Deputy Chief Executive

"Trust leaders are acutely aware of the pressure public finances and the additional investment awarded in the Autumn Spending Review. However, the reality is that in the longer term, we will need to see further investment to help the health service meet the increased demand across acute, mental health, community, and ambulance services to treat people who have coronavirus now as well as longer-term challenges, such as the clearing the backlog of elective care dealing with additional demand for mental health services. We also need to support and reward the NHS workforce who have worked tirelessly during the pandemic.

"Sadly, today's Budget has fallen short on setting out the strategic direction for public services, and in particular, much needed support for social care, which desperately needs investment and a longer term programme of support. Successive governments have promised to fix social care and yet none have delivered the radical change we need. We are urging the government to deliver on its promise to unveil a plan for reforming social care by the end of the year."

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