Government must be honest about NHS's real terms funding cut

The government needs to be honest about the NHS's real terms funding cut, shadow health secretary John Healey has said.

Mr Healey: the Government has not protected the NHS as it promised
Mr Healey: the Government has not protected the NHS as it promised

He said the coalition's claims that NHS funding is being increased depend on an allocation of funds for social care, which is not traditionally an NHS responsibility.

Mr Healy was speaking at the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services. He said: ‘By all means point, as ministers do, to the extra money for social care. But don't double count the credit and don't double count the funding.'

He added: ‘Because when £1bn switched from the NHS to social care is taken into account, the Government has not protected the NHS as it promised. It's not the real terms increase of 0.4% they claimed. It's a real terms cut of 0.5%.’

The King’s Fund has also argued that the government’s plans will lead to a net reduction on the NHS’s purchasing power.

Commenting on the government’s comprehensive spending review last month, John Appleby, chief economist at The King’s Fund, said: ‘Compared to other departmental budgets the NHS settlement is a generous one.

‘But, while the increase in health spending meets the pledge to protect the NHS budget, an increase of 0.1% a year in real terms will soon be swallowed up by cost pressures such as incremental pay drift and the increase in VAT. The net result will be a reduction in the NHS’s purchasing power.’

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Boris Johnson, Sajid Javid and NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard at Downing Street press conference

GPs offered £15 per jab as government sets 31 January COVID-19 booster deadline

COVID-19 vaccine payments to GP practices will rise nearly a fifth to £15 per jab...

Houses of parliament

Evidence for mandatory NHS staff COVID-19 jabs 'not good enough', says Lords committee

Evidence to support government plans to require all NHS staff in patient-facing roles...

Dr Farah Jameel

Practices 'need substantial support' to step up Omicron response, warns BMA GP chair

General practice is already facing unsustainable pressure and will need 'substantial...

JCVI COVID-19 immunisation chair Professor Wei Shen Lim

JCVI backs immediate expansion of COVID-19 vaccination to combat Omicron variant

The COVID-19 booster campaign should expand immediately to people aged 18-39 and...

Close up of hand holding sample tube with 'Omicron' handwritten on side

Government urged to 'free up' GP practices and expand steps to control Omicron

GPs have called for immediate action such as suspension of QOF to allow practices...

(Photo: Mike Kemp/Getty Images)

Coronavirus: Key guidance GPs need to know about COVID-19

GPonline provides an overview of the key guidance relating to coronavirus, including...