Trust leaders welcome funding announcement but the devil will be in the detail

25 October 2021

Responding to the HM treasury announcement that the government will invest £5.9bn in the NHS to help tackle the elective care backlog and transform diagnostic services, the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery, said:

"Trust leaders will welcome this capital investment in the NHS to help tackle waiting lists and transform how we deliver care.

"This funding is very necessary to deliver on the health and social care proposals that the government announced in September. But the devil will be in the detail in terms of the overall package of capital support for the NHS when the chancellor sets out his funding plans.

"We have argued for several years that the NHS needs wide ranging investment across its estates and facilities in hospitals, mental health, community and ambulance services to tackle the alarming maintenance backlog – which now stands at £9.2bn. This is vital to ensure NHS buildings and equipment are safe, efficient and reliable.

"It is important to remember that the funding the NHS needs is not only to tackle waiting lists. Mental health, community, and ambulance services are all under pressure, and as yet it remains unclear what funding will be available to address those concerns.

"The full potential of the funding won't be realised without a long-term workforce plan. To meet rising demand for services it is vital that we address staff shortages, which needs a long-term vision, not 'quick fixes'. The announcements on Wednesday must cover this too."

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