William Eichler 08 November 2017

NHS needs £4bn to ease burden on social care system

NHS needs £4bn to ease burden on social care system

The NHS needs £4bn next year to prevent the health service deteriorating and putting the squeezed social care sector under added pressure, three health charities have today warned.

New analysis from the Health Foundation, The King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust shows that based on the Government’s current spending plans the NHS will face a funding gap of at least £20bn by 2022/23.

The charities warn NHS funding per person is likely to fall by 0.3% in 2018/19 and that in order to match demand spending must increase by at least £4bn next year.

Cuts to public health budgets are a ‘false economy’, the charities argue because they lead to cuts to frontline services which inevitably store up problems for the future.

The charities also said that with the social care system facing a funding gap of £2.6bn by 2019/20, Whitehall should use the upcoming Budget to commit to fundamental reform of social care.

The Government should publish costed funding options when it launches its forthcoming consultation on social care, they added.

Chris Ham, chief executive of The King’s Fund, said: ‘After seven years of austerity, the dramatic improvements made in health care over the last 20 years are at risk of slipping away.

‘The message is clear - unless the government finds the money the NHS and social care need, patients, service-users and their families will suffer the consequences.’

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