Government proposals for future funding for the NHS fall short of what’s needed and lack clarity, the CSP has said.
Rob Yeldham, CSP director of policy, strategy and engagement, said:
‘Extra funding for the NHS is always welcome, but 3.4% is short of what the system needs in the long term.
‘The proposal seems to exclude vital areas like public health and health education, which is shortsighted.
‘Critically, it isn’t clear whether the funding is dependent on a Brexit dividend or not. ‘We need an absolute commitment to extra funding, not a gamble on an uncertain windfall.’
The CSP has four tests for the PM’s speech tomorrow, which will formally unveil the plans:
1) Will there be enough, not only to stabilise the NHS as it is, but also to enable transformation? We all know the health and social care need to change to meet future population needs.
The services we need to prevent illness and address ageing population with multiple long term conditions, like enhanced community rehab and first contact physiotherapy, need pump priming, although over time change may reduce costs.
Think tanks estimate that 4 to 5% is the minimum needed to stand still, so 3.4% would be a step forward but not enough.
2) Will social care, public health and health education get extra funding or be cut further?
The health and care system need to be seen as a whole.
Failing to invest in public health adds to NHS costs.
Failing to invest in training the workforce makes change more difficult.
Failing to support social care will lead to more demand on the NHS.
3) Is funding reliant on the so-called Brexit dividend?
We should never tie the health of nation to an uncertain economic windfall.
We can afford to fund the NHS and care if we choose to, with or without a windfall.
We don’t spend the same proportion of our wealth on health as comparable economies.
Our economy needs an effective health and care system to minimise loss of productivity.
4) Is there a claw back via ‘efficiency’ measures?
Being more efficient is important but the NHS is already one of the most productive parts of the economy.
Unrealistic savings targets should be discounted from the headline figures.
Note to editors
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1. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy is the UK’s professional, educational and trade union body. We have more than 52,000 members, including chartered physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and support workers.
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