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Readers’ panel: Will the government’s funding rise put the NHS on a secure footing?

Nursing Standard readers have their say on the planned £20.5 billion-a-year boost

Prime minister Theresa May recently announced plans for £20.5 billion a year extra in funding for the NHS, with the money coming from increased taxation, economic growth and a ‘Brexit dividend’. Nursing Standard readers have their say

Rachel Kent is a mental health nurse in London

A lack of funding is not and has never been the sole problem facing the NHS. This increase in funds, while welcome, is being used to keep afloat a system that is haemorrhaging money because it needs modernising. Ideally, some of the money would be used to bring about change; funding innovation and quality improvement projects will mean the health service can make great strides forward, rather than merely filling gaps that have grown bigger through years of neglect. 

Ewout van Sabben is a third-year children’s nursing student in London

Any investment in the NHS must be welcomed with open arms, but I feel that this announcement should be approached with caution. Throwing a bone won’t resolve the difficulties becoming increasingly apparent in the NHS, and I am concerned by the lack of clarity about where the money will come from. Taxpayers already help fund the NHS and although an increase in taxes is not unexpected, is the public willing and, more importantly, able to contribute more?

Jane Scullion is a respiratory nurse consultant in Leicester

In politics and economics, a Potemkin village is any construction (literal or figurative) built solely to deceive others into thinking that a situation is better than it really is. The public love the NHS and, by and large, seem happy with increased taxation to fund services. Brexit – if we ever disengage without huge penalties – is likely to free up some money, but can we believe politicians? Whether from Brexit dividends or tax rises, the promised investment in the NHS is likely to be a Potemkin village.

Liz Charalambous is a staff nurse and PhD student in Nottingham 

The NHS 70th birthday celebrations provide a perfect opportunity for the government to ensnare voters for the next election, and I am suspicious of anything that amounts to a PR exercise to get the public on side. The security of the NHS depends on supporting staff, and tackling the social determinants of health through a long-term strategy focusing on social, living and working conditions. The only sure way to put the NHS on a secure footing is to vote for another party. 

Readers’ panel members give their views in a personal capacity only


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