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The King’s Fund comments on Health Committee Chair’s letter to the Chancellor

Richard Murray, Director of Policy at The King’s Fund, commented on a letter from the Chair of the Health Committee to the Chancellor of the Exchequer,

‘The most urgent priority for the Autumn Statement is to increase funding for social care. Years of budget cuts have had a significant impact on older people, their families and carers, and are exacerbating pressures on the NHS, with record numbers of patients who are fit to be discharged but are delayed in hospital. As the Care Quality Commission has recently said, the social care market is approaching a tipping point and there are real fears about whether the market will continue to be sustainable.

‘The members of the Health Committee are right to highlight the huge financial pressures that the NHS is facing, especially later in this parliament when funding will barely increase in real terms. It is no longer credible to argue that the NHS can continue to meet demand for services and deliver current standards of care at the same time as staying within its budget.

‘Cutting the capital budget reduces the NHS’s ability to invest in much-needed buildings and equipment, and simply stores up problems for the future.

‘The members of the Committee are right to point out that spending on health is increasing by much less than the government has claimed, and that important areas of health spending are being cut to increase NHS England’s budget.’

Notes to editors: 

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 care is available to all.

For further information, or to request an interview, please contact The King’s Fund Press and Public Affairs team on 020 7307 2585 (if calling out of hours, please ring 07584 146035).

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