Our response to Jeremy Hunt's statement to the House of Commons on the future of the NHS

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Responding to the Secretary of State for Health’s statement to the House of Commons on the future of the NHS, Chris Ham, Chief Executive of The King’s Fund, said:

‘The additional funding for the NHS confirmed today will provide a substantial boost for front line services and is an important step forward, especially with the public finances still under significant pressure. It underlines how much the debate has moved on over the last few weeks, with the case for more investment in the NHS now accepted by all the main political parties.

‘Whoever forms the next government will inherit a service under huge pressure and in need of radical transformation. But there is now an emerging consensus around the agenda for change set out in the NHS Five Year Forward View. This is very important, creating an opportunity to drive through fundamental changes to services that could significantly benefit patients.

‘However, even if the very challenging estimates for productivity improvements it outlined can be achieved, an additional £8 billion a year in funding will be needed by 2020. While the investment confirmed today will provide welcome short term relief for hard-pressed services, it is therefore clear that more will be needed to keep pace with future demand and fund changes to services. So this must be the first instalment in a sustained funding increase during the next parliament.’

‘The additional funding to improve GP facilities is also welcome at a time when general practice is under significant pressure. This new investment needs to go hand in hand with reform to encourage practices to work together in federations to provide a wider range of services to their patients.’