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Health charities call for £4b cash for NHS in autumn Budget

Three health charities are calling for a £4 billion injection of cash into the NHS in this month's Budget, saying that without it patients will wait longer for treatment, more services will be rationed and quality of care will deteriorate.

Three health charities are calling for a £4 billion injection of cash into the NHS in this month's Budget.


Picture: Alamy

The Health Foundation, the King's Fund and the Nuffield Trust said that without the increase in 2018/19, patients will wait longer for treatment, more services will be rationed and quality of care will deteriorate.

RCN general secretary Janet Davies said: ‘The NHS has teetered on a financial cliff edge for too long and the Budget is the government's opportunity to change course. The chancellor should recognise it is unsustainable to expect a cash-strapped and understaffed service to continue providing world-class care.’

Underfunding

She added: ‘Years of underfunding have left it struggling to maintain high standards for patients, with 40,000 unfilled nurse jobs. A meaningful cash injection from the chancellor can make the NHS safer, not least by stopping the haemorrhaging of staff.’

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt will today give the keynote speech at the Birmingham conference of NHS Providers, an association representing NHS trusts.

His speech will follow that of NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens, who will cite claims that leaving the EU would free up £350 million a week to argue for more funding for the health service.

He will not call specifically for that figure, which was emblazoned on the side of the Vote Leave bus which carried leaders of the Brexit campaign around the country during the referendum.

Turbulence

But Mr Stevens will say that trust in democracy ‘will not be strengthened’ if chancellor Philip Hammond argues in his Budget that economic turbulence caused by Brexit means he cannot promise extra cash for the NHS.

One of the slogans on the side of the bus said, ‘We send the EU £350 million a week. Let’s fund our NHS instead.’ Mr Stevens is expected to say: ‘The NHS wasn't on the ballot paper, but it was on the Battle Bus.

‘Rather than our criticising these clear Brexit funding commitments to NHS patients – promises entered into by cabinet ministers and by MPs – the public want to see them honoured.’


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