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NHS Confederation responds to the Chancellor's comments on public sector spending
Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, responds to the Chancellor's comments on public sector spending.
Responding to the Chancellor's comments on public service expenditure, Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation said:
“As inflation levels and interest rates spiral ever higher, the NHS is already struggling to stay afloat and properly meet the needs of the public and the local communities it serves, so leaders are very concerned to learn that there will be no additional funding for public services, including health, made available any time soon.
“Inflation has already severely eroded the government’s previously allocated investment in the health service to the tune of £4 billion this year, and predictions that public services need at least an extra £18 billion to balance their books in the coming months mean that NHS leaders are being left to make unenviably stark choices about which health care services to cut back first.
“By introducing the now defunct health and care levy the previous government had at least acknowledged how much of a shortfall the NHS and social care system was facing, so this shift in mindset by the current administration leaves health service leaders with a significant funding dilemma.
“As the NHS prepares for what is expected to be one of the worse winters for decades, and with health service staff gearing up to battle a potential twindemic of rising Covid and flu cases whilst also being forced to scale back patient care, we will unfortunately be forced to accept that waiting times will continue to lengthen.
“Elsewhere, big questions still remain about where additional funding will be drawn from to pay for the Secretary of State’s promised £500 million adult social care discharge fund, given the NHS’s finances are already so squeezed.
“With such extreme financial challenges facing both NHS and social care, including a cost-of-living crisis hitting health service staff and patients, and with no sign of a fully funded workforce plan for the health service, the government must now truly level with the public about the service they can expect in the months ahead.”
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