NHS Confederation evidence to Public Accounts Committee inquiry into the financial sustainability of the NHS


11 / 01 / 2017

Our evidence submission impresses the importance of an honest public debate about the tough times the NHS and other public services are now facing.

The government, through parliament, has the opportunity to enhance the ability of the NHS to deliver transformation, which will allow the NHS to become sustainable. We believe the government can facilitate the right conditions by:

  • restating its commitment to transforming the health and care system, as described in the Five Year Forward View – by establishing an explicit ring-fence for additional funding and creating arrangements to ensure it is spent on transformation, rather than business as usual activities
  • enabling investment in sustainability through spending on buildings and equipment – by increasing public capital spending and supporting the work to tackle systemic issues for taking advantage of private capital
  • addressing the current state of social care urgently – by at least bringing forward additional funding for the Better Care Fund, currently planned for 2019
  • recognising the flaw in cutting funding for public health and invest in keeping people healthy as a priority – by halting planned cuts to the local grant for public health and outlining a long-term spending plan for prevention and wellbeing.
These immediate solutions would go some way to restoring a fighting chance for the NHS in transforming care and remaining sustainable. They would also demonstrate a wish to support other public services who impact upon the delivery of NHS services.

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