The King's Fund responds to Prime Minister's announcement of new funding for the NHS

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Commenting on the announcement of new funding for the NHS, Chris Ham, Chief Executive of The King’s Fund, said:

‘The Prime Minister has administered a welcome shot in the arm that will get the NHS back on its feet but not provided the long term cure that would restore it to full health.

‘Jeremy Hunt and Simon Stevens have secured the best deal they could in the circumstances even though it falls short of the 4 per cent annual increases we argued are needed. Hard choices lie ahead and it will be difficult to reduce financial deficits among NHS providers, get back on track in delivering national waiting time standards and bring about further improvements in services like cancer care, mental health and general practice. It will also be challenging to sustain increases in productivity which have generally outpaced the economy in recent years.

‘It is essential that some of the extra funding is ring-fenced to support new ways of providing integrated care to improve patient experience and take pressure off hospitals. More detail is also needed on what it means for key areas of spending that fall outside NHS England’s budget such as public health, capital investment and staff training. 

‘While we welcome the Prime Minister’s assurance that future decisions about social care spending will not add to pressures on the NHS, this hardly suggests an ambitious statement of intent. The forthcoming social care green paper must deliver on the Prime Minister’s promise to act where others have failed to lead by delivering substantial and wide-ranging reform.

‘We welcome the commitment to publish a long term plan for the NHS later this year. This must also go hand-in-hand with a comprehensive strategy to tackle the crisis facing the health and care workforce.'

Notes to editors

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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.