Former Health Secretary Andrew Lansley. Photo: NHS Employers (under creative commons)
Leavers ♥ NHS. Remainers ♥ NHS. Isn’t it about time to fund it properly?
The NHS funding crisis is well documented – descriptions of ambulances queuing to get into A&E, drastic cuts to budgets and the unprecedented numbers of NHS providers in the red (to name but a few) continue to dominate news headlines.
The NHS – and how much money it gets – was a key issue during this summer’s EU referendum debate. The Remain campaign warned that leaving the EU would bring about a weaker UK economy and with it, the likelihood of even more spending reductions for key public services.
On the other side, Leave campaigners said that the “£350m a week” that pays for the country’s EU membership could be better used to fund the NHS instead.
And now, more voices have joined the TUC’s call for a proper funding settlement for the NHS. This morning, former Conservative Health Secretary Andrew Lansley called for a £5bn a year “Brexit bonus”, as well as a commitment from ministers to spend 7% of GDP on the NHS.
Lord Lansley, architect of the controversial Health and Social Care Act 2012, admitted that supporters of both sides of the referendum debate had voted to ensure more money for a properly-funded, high quality NHS – and so, “the public have a right to expect it”.
This follows from the Chief Executive of NHS Providers – which represents hospitals across the UK – warning that hospitals are on the “brink of collapse” due to years of chronic underfunding.
The message is clear everywhere you look: we need to boost our spending on the NHS. This would not only give a much needed cash injection to our essential services as winter approaches, but it is also what the public want.
Whichever box was crossed on the ballot on 23rd June, people have experienced the waiting times for life-saving treatments, reductions in their hospital treatments and cuts to local authority social care budgets that put further pressure on an NHS already at breaking point.
The TUC-backed Fund Our NHS campaign proposes a 5 point plan and asks our Chancellor to use his suggested “reset” in the Autumn Statement to provide a sustainable funding settlement for the NHS. We want to see an urgent funding boost to bridge the fiscal gap, a long-term commitment to publicly fund the NHS and investment in NHS staff
We particularly look forward to Lord Lansley’s pledge to support our campaign.