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Welsh NHS Confederation comment on Draft Budget

The Welsh Government’s Draft Budget shows a 4.4% (2.5% real term) uplift for the 2017-18 budget for health, wellbeing and sport, including an extra £240m for the NHS, with funding for medical education, service improvement and transformation.

Vanessa Young, Director the Welsh NHS Confederation, said: “Since 2010 the NHS in Wales has seen its lowest ever growth in funding while demand and cost pressures have risen each year. An ageing population, more people with chronic conditions, advances in technology and medicine are all factors that increase the demand for and cost of our NHS. 

“Against that backdrop the Welsh NHS Confederation welcomes the additional investment in health and social care, announced in the draft budget, which will be used to meet the ever increasing demands and cost pressures already in the system. The funding will help the NHS to meet pay and price pressures as well as invest in new preventative models of care based in community settings. Additional funding for medical education is also welcomed in helping to tackle the long-term challenges of recruitment and retention across the system.

“However, we know that difficult decisions made in the draft budget means cuts to other services. We recognise the contribution that is made by public and third sector services to support the health and wellbeing of the population and we are committed to working with them to develop preventative services.

“The draft budget will go some way to helping NHS bodies address existing demand pressures and shift resources from hospitals to communities. The NHS will still have to find substantial efficiency savings during a period of unprecedented recruitment and retention difficulties. We will seek to make further savings and to hold to national pay deals, but even with this settlement the demand and cost pressures already in the system will make this very challenging. As a recent Wales Audit Office report shows, the NHS in Wales has already achieved revenue savings of £800 million since 2011 and each year finding new efficiency savings gets harder.

“The announcement of an additional £1billion capital investment over four years is very welcome and will enable the NHS to make much needed investment in our infrastructure and digital technologies.”

Maria Battle, Chair of the Welsh NHS Confederation, said: “The Welsh NHS Confederation recognises the difficult choices that have to be taken to meet the needs and balance the pressures facing all public services and we welcome the additional funding for the NHS in 2017-18.

“We also recognise the crucial role of other public services in supporting the health and wellbeing of the population. We all need to work together to provide joined up services focused on keeping people well and independent. We are therefore very pleased to see the £25million additional investment the Government has announced recently for social care. Adult social care services have a particularly critical role to play in keeping people out of hospital and enabling them to be cared for at home or in residential care.”

Welsh Government Draft Budget

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