The King's Fund responds to the 2017 Autumn Budget

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Richard Murray, Director of Policy for The King’s Fund, said: ‘The additional money for the NHS is a welcome shot in the arm as the service struggles to meet rising demand for services. But it is still significantly less than the £4 billion we estimate the NHS needs next year. Even with this additional funding, the NHS will struggle to meet key targets and provide the investment needed in services such as general practice and mental health.

‘The significant increase in capital spending after several years of capital budgets being raided to cover deficits is good news. But to deliver the £10 billion package promised by the Chancellor, considerable sums of money will need to be raised through NHS land sales and other means to top up the £4 billion of extra government investment.

‘It is encouraging that the government is prepared to fund pay rises for nurses and other key staff on top of this extra funding, as long as agreement can be reached on new contracts.

‘We are disappointed, though, that the Chancellor did not find any extra funding for social care, which faces a £2.5 billion funding gap by 2019/20. While the forthcoming Green Paper offers the prospect of reform, any meaningful change is a long way off and will be of little comfort to the many people who need help now but cannot access it.’ 

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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.