The King’s Fund comments on Health Committee Chair’s letter to the Chancellor

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Commenting on a letter from the Chair of the Health Committee to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Richard Murray, Director of Policy at The King’s Fund, said:

‘The most urgent priority for the Autumn Statement is to increase funding for social care. Years of budget cuts have had a significant impact on older people, their families and carers, and are exacerbating pressures on the NHS, with record numbers of patients who are fit to be discharged but are delayed in hospital. As the Care Quality Commission has recently said, the social care market is approaching a tipping point and there are real fears about whether the market will continue to be sustainable.

‘The members of the Health Committee are right to highlight the huge financial pressures that the NHS is facing, especially later in this parliament when funding will barely increase in real terms. It is no longer credible to argue that the NHS can continue to meet demand for services and deliver current standards of care at the same time as staying within its budget.

‘Cutting the capital budget reduces the NHS’s ability to invest in much-needed buildings and equipment, and simply stores up problems for the future.

‘The members of the Committee are right to point out that spending on health is increasing by much less than the government has claimed, and that important areas of health spending are being cut to increase NHS England’s budget.’

Notes to editors

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