The Autumn Statement 2016: Joint statement on health and social care

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The King’s Fund, Nuffield Trust and The Health Foundation are urging the government to address the critical state of social care in its forthcoming Autumn Statement.

The briefing calls on the government to recognise the immediate funding pressures facing the sector by bringing forward to next year funding from the Better Care Fund which is planned to reach £1.5 billion in 2019/20. It also makes it clear that the NHS funding settlement will need to be revisited in future financial statements.

Key messages

  • Total health spending in England will rise by £4.2 billion in real terms between 2015/16 and 2020/21. This will result in a real-terms increase of on average 1.1 per cent a year over this parliament.
  • Real-terms funding increases of 0 per cent in 2018/19 and 0.3 per cent in 2019/20 will not be enough to maintain standards of care, meet rising demand from patients and deliver the transformation in services outlined in the NHS five year forward view.
  • Public health spending will fall by at least £600 million in real terms by 2020/21, on top of £200 million cut from the budget in 2015/16.
  • While there are significant opportunities to improve productivity in the NHS, the pace of change required to deliver £22 billion of savings by 2020/21 is unrealistic. New inflationary pressures are also emerging that will increase costs and make pay restraint harder to sustain.
  • The number of people aged over 65 accessing publicly funded social care has fallen by at least 26 per cent over the past six years.
  • Even if the vast majority of councils choose to levy the new precept on Council Tax as they did this year, the publicly funded social care system faces a £1.9 billion funding gap next year.
  • UK public spending on social care is set to fall back to less than 1 per cent of GDP by the end of this parliament, leaving thousands more older and disabled people without access to services.



Joseph Dempsey

Comment date
11 January 2017
As a layman, hearing statistics given out - without real details - I have to wonder what is the real truth, about the whole NHS story. How much is political? Is any of it, or is none of it, political?
If there really was a 20% increase in hospital activities, where did it come from?
How much of the troubles can be traced to poor, or bad, management? We hear of senior NHS staff having to resign, only to move to another trust immediately. Often on higher salaries. Even in excess of £200,000pa!
I rate the NHS, its ideals, and its achievements, very highly, but I have the feeling it is being torn apart, from within and without!
At the age of 78 I have seen lots of changes but feel these days too much is expected of it.

Duncan Cameron

volunteer with a Seniors' forum, retired GP,
Hastings and St Leonards Seniors' forum
Comment date
14 November 2016
Here in East Sussex, our CCG in particular, appears well placed to implement changes with undoubted further cuts, with safety net. and no evidence of secretive dealing. STP changes aired for months, still formative, experimental although following other models. Financial reality is uncomfortable, is subject to priority and merit but surely should be undertaken as fully as possible before calling for more funds. May we're fortunate.

Victoria Wiltshire

Comment date
14 November 2016
Hugely alarmed after reading on BBC News today, at the fact NHS England is trying to keep cuts out of the public eye.
In particular that:-
'Plans in South West London to close one of five hospitals - St George's, Kingston, Croydon, St Helier or Epsom.'

As an Epsom resident, this is massively concerning. Travelling distances and speed of arrival in constantly heavy traffic to the alternative hospitals in an emergency situation will have a dangerous effect to people's treatment and mortality outcomes.

Ali bulman

Service director,
Bucks county council
Comment date
13 November 2016
Keen to keep abreast of the work in this area and opportunities

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