The King’s Fund response to the National Audit Office report on sustainability and transformation in the NHS

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Chris Ham, Chief Executive of The King’s Fund, said: ‘Across the country, there are encouraging examples of areas that are changing their services so that they better meet the needs of local people. But transforming services requires investment, and the speed of progress in Greater Manchester, for example, has only been possible because of upfront investment. Yet most of the Sustainability and Transformation Fund is being spent on addressing acute hospital deficits rather than being invested in new service models, which is holding back progress. This is also one of the reasons that income for acute hospital trusts is growing faster than for mental health trusts, despite the government’s commitment to parity of esteem.

‘The case for finding more money for the NHS is unanswerable, both to put hospital finances on a secure footing for the future and to enable the NHS to invest in the kind of community services needed to alleviate pressure on hospitals.’

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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.