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The Welsh NHS Confederation response to the Welsh Government’s Draft Budget

Health services in Wales are under significant pressure. An ageing population with increasingly complex needs and staff shortages continue to present very real challenges to the NHS. The Welsh Government’s Draft Budget proposes an increase of 0.8% in real terms to the overall health budget.

Vanessa Young, Director the Welsh NHS Confederation said:

NHS Leaders welcome the additional £230 million in 2018-19 and £220 million in 2019-20 for the overall health budget, particularly in the context of continued austerity and the implications for other public services which make a vital contribution to the health and wellbeing of the population. 

“We recognise that the Welsh Government has to live within the settlement it receives form the UK Government, but we also need to acknowledge that as a nation the UK spends a smaller proportion of its GDP on health care than many other developed countries and for what we spend the value we extract is high. Despite the increase in the Draft Budget and the NHS making savings of around £150 million each year, NHS organisations will continue to find it hard to meet patient demand and public expectations in the next two years within the budget proposed. 

“One of the biggest challenges facing the NHS is the need to reconfigure services to meet current and future demand and that requires support from politicians, partners and the public. It also needs investment and we welcome the additional capital funding for health and the proposal to coordinate housing, health and social care capital programmes to deliver easily-accessible care.

“The sustainability of the health and care system is also fundamentally dependent on the crucial role of other public services in supporting health and wellbeing. We especially need a strong social care sector and we therefore welcome the additional investment in social care, although we are concerned it is unlikely to be sufficient to meet demand. 

“We await the Chancellor’s Budget Statement next month and hope that this will signal an easing of austerity that will benefit the Welsh Government budget and our public services. In the meantime we will continue to work closely with our local government partners and other stakeholders to make the best of the resources available to us.

A new budget for Wales

Original article link: http://www.nhsconfed.org/media-centre/2017/10/welsh-nhsc-response-government-draft-budget

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