Responding to a new report published by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, Chris Ham, Chief Executive of The King’s Fund, said: ‘The committee is right to call on the government and NHS bodies to work more closely together in the interests of patients.
‘Sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) are the best hope for delivering essential changes to NHS services, but we agree there is a huge amount of work to do, and lost ground to make up, in making the case for change to the public. Also, there must be absolute alignment between NHS England and NHS Improvement, both nationally and regionally, in their approaches to taking STPs forward.
‘There is no doubt that many of the plans need significant work, but where a convincing case for change has been made, ministers and local politicians should back NHS leaders in implementing essential and often long-overdue changes to services.
‘The committee is right that the financial pressures facing the NHS are affecting patients’ access to care and, with finances set to get even tighter over the next couple of years, we expect this to get worse. The government must either find additional resources for health and social care or be honest with the public about the level of service it can expect with the funding currently provided.’
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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 health and care is available to all.