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NHS bosses issue ‘cry for help’ after funding cuts
November 01, 2017
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LONDON: NHS and social care leaders have written to Chancellor Philip Hammond to demand an end to public sector pay restraint, and asking him to step up the pace of investment in both sectors.

The heads of groups representing the entire NHS, medical royal colleges and a host of UK charities have co-signed a letter to the Treasury in advance of next month’s budget.

The signatories said this was an appeal to the government to think of health and social care despite the understandable pressures of Brexit negotiations.

It follows assessment from regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which said that front-line services are now in a “precarious condition.”

The letter asks that the £8bn increase to the NHS budget which the Conservative Party committed to over the course of this Parliament should be front-loaded to address immediate pressures.

Analysis by the King’s Fund think-tank has found that the Department of Health budget will increase by £2.8bn in the next three years, with the bulk of the £8bn coming in the final two.

The letter says: “Even if the government were only to stick to its current commitment, we believe the remaining £5.2 billion should not be reserved for the last two years of the Parliament. It should instead be brought forward now to address significant current challenges.”

The Treasury should revisit its current spending plans for 2018/19 and 2019/20 to make sure that the system is able to maintain high standards of care.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said that his department will end its policy of enforced pay restraint for all NHS professionals and has called on Hammond to add funding to the budget for this.

The Independent

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