Philip Hammond MP. Photo: Oli Scarff
Three reasons why Philip Hammond should Fully Fund Our NHS
Ask the Chancellor to fully fund our NHS in his Autumn Statement this month. SIGN THE PETITION HERE
- His colleagues are telling him it needs more money
Yesterday the Health Select Committee – a group of MP’s with a Conservative majority – accused Theresa May and Jeremy Hunt of giving the “false impression” that the NHS was “awash with cash”, following the government’s pledge to inject £10bn into the NHS by the end of 2020/21.
In a letter to the Chancellor, the committee called for more NHS funding in the Autumn Statement, warning that “the extent of this [financial] pressure is not sufficiently recognised” by the government. The Shadow Health Secretary also joined his fellow MP’s in criticising the Prime Minister as “disingenuous and misleading”.
- Current funds will just plug deficits
Last week, the independent health think tank the King’s Fund said that only 14% of the money supposedly allocated to the ring-fenced NHS ‘transformation’ fund would end up being invested in new services. A whopping £1.8bn of the total cash injection was being used to meet NHS providers’ deficits over the next two years – deficits that amount to 95% of acute hospital trusts being in the red. The organisation’s damning report into the Spending Review, together with Nuffield Trust and The Health Foundation, called this decade “the most austere in NHS history”.
Where NHS England’s budget may rise by £7.6bn between 2015/16 and 2020/21, other health funding will fall by 20% – a cool £3bn. The total 2015/16 deficits amount to £2.45bn. This money will barely touch new models of care, seven-day services, and the other long-term investment promised by the government.
- NHS workers say patient safety is at risk
So let’s hear from the people who work in the NHS. Midwives, physiotherapists, GPs, ambulance drivers, mental health practitioners – all saying that underfunding, a lack of staff and service cuts are causing great harm to patient safety and quality of service.
Our campaign calling on the Chancellor to fully – and fairly – fund our NHS is supported by these professionals and many, many more. They see the patients waiting for hours on trolleys in hospitals, the ambulance queues, the long waiting lists for life saving treatments.
They work long, hard, exhausting hours to deliver the best care they can with diminishing resources, low morale and an increased demand on health services. They are the experts, and they can see it quite clearly: the NHS urgently needs more money to keep on caring for everyone.