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Press release

The King's Fund responds to Labour’s pledge to boost health care funding

Commenting on Labour’s pledge to boost health care funding, Richard Murray, Chief Executive of The King’s Fund, said:

‘Demand for health services has risen significantly over the past decade, so the Labour party funding announcement is a welcome recognition of the additional resources needed to meet the pressures on the NHS.

‘The funding pledge importantly covers not only day-to-day NHS running costs, but other vital areas of health spending such as money for buildings and equipment, the education and training of staff, and public health services to improve and maintain people’s health.

‘There are various options for raising the funds to increase health and care spending. Latest data from the British Social Attitudes Survey showed that the public are willing to pay for an NHS funding boost. Nearly 6 in 10 respondents said that if the NHS needed more money, they would be willing to accept an increase in taxes to fund it.

‘The success of any NHS funding policy will rest on the ability to recruit and retain enough workers to staff NHS services. Labour’s pledge to reinstate a training bursary for nurses is welcome, although it will be critical to focus on retaining existing NHS staff over the next few years, at a time when many are leaving the service due to the intensity of their workload.

‘For many UK voters the distinction between the NHS and social care is unclear, and many are surprised to find that social care is not free at the point of use. The current social care system is not fit for purpose and is failing the people who rely on it. A key test for party manifestos will be whether they include plans for fundamental reform of social care funding.’

Notes to editors

For further information, or to request an interview, please contact the Press and Public Affairs team on 020 7307 2585 (if calling out of hours, please ring 07584 146035).

The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible health and care is available to all.