We must not underestimate the challenge ahead to deliver ambitious NHS long term plan
03 April 2019
- The Public Accounts Committee has published its report on NHS financial sustainability.
- The report finds that while the NHS did balance its overall budget in 2017-18, there is high level of disparity in financial health and patient experience at local level.
- It finds that staff shortages are a major obstacle to NHS financial viability and delivery of the long term plan.
- The lack of clarity on future funding for adult social care, capital, public health, education and training also present a risk to the deliverability of the plan.
Responding to NHS financial sustainability: progress review by the Public Accounts Committee, the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery said:
“We welcome this frank overview of the NHS financial situation by the Public Accounts Committee, which echoes our own findings.
“It is vital that we do not underestimate the scale of the challenge ahead to meet the broad but welcome ambitions of the NHS long term plan and return the NHS to a sustainable financial footing.
It is vital that we do not underestimate the scale of the challenge ahead to meet the broad but welcome ambitions of the NHS long term plan and return the NHS to a sustainable financial footing.Deputy Chief Executive
“This report rightly points to the ongoing risks of growing workforce challenges. We will not achieve this vision while there are still over 100,000 staff vacancies across the NHS. We expect the upcoming workforce implementation plan to set out a direction of travel to improve staff retention and tackle these shortages through both overseas recruitment and a commitment to grow the domestic workforce in the longer term.
This report rightly points to the ongoing risks of growing workforce challenges. We will not achieve this vision while there are still over 100,000 staff vacancies across the NHS.Deputy Chief Executive
“While the report highlights the overall improvement in financial performance, it makes clear that differences in financial position of trusts and CCGs, as well as continuing raids on budgets for NHS buildings and equipment to prop up day to day spending, is unsustainable.
“The NHS long term plan is an opportunity to recover NHS finances. However, it will require realism about the demand challenges facing health and care services.
“Alongside this, we need to see important decisions about funding for training budgets, public health, capital budgets and social care taken in the upcoming spending review.”