NHSCC’s verdict on the Spending Round

Today (4 September) the Chancellor set out the government’s spending plans for 2020/21. Included in the announcement was an increase to the Department for Health and Social Care’s budget, with boosts for the HEE budget, public health grant, capital spending, and social care.

Commenting on the Spending Round, Dr Graham Jackson, chair of NHS Clinical Commissioners, said:

“The announcements made in today’s Spending Round reaffirm recent funding announcements on capital, technology, education and training; all vital to support the delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan.

“We are pleased to see investment in education and professional development, particularly of the nursing workforce which was identified as a priority area in the Interim NHS People Plan.

“While the capital investment recently announced by the Prime Minister is welcome, it does little to tackle the backlog of maintenance needs that have built up across the country. This is not only about hospitals – to deliver effective primary care we need primary care and community premises that are modern, safe and fit for purpose. It’s also vital that any funding is accessible to all organisations, including smaller ones that may lack professional bid-writing experience.

“Social care must be adequately funded if the overall health system is to be sustainable and capable of delivering the best health outcomes for populations. The £1.5bn announced today will provide a short-term sticking plaster but falls far short of what is needed to deliver long term sustainability for care. We look forward to more details of the long-term solution to the social care promised by the Chancellor.

“Clinical commissioners recognise the importance of public health funding – and its potential to improve the physical and mental health of populations, help manage demand for health care and make best use of public resources – so a real-terms increase in the public health grant is a step in the right direction. However, following year-on-year decreases since 2014/15, it will undoubtedly fall short of the investment needed to reverse these cuts and deliver much-needed improvements.”

4 September 2019