The Chancellor, George Osborne, confirmed £2bn of extra annual funding for the national health service in his Autumn Statement.
The £2bn, to be introduced from April 2015, includes:
- £300m new funding for GPs to invest in their facilities and develop a wider range of care and treatment outside hospitals.
- £1bn from underspending by other Whitehall departments.
- £700m to be allocated to NHS England for frontline services, from the existing Department of Health budget,
Responding to the announcement, Richard Hawkes, Chair of the Care & Support Alliance, said:
“The Autumn Statement brings another pre-election promise on NHS spending.
“But as health experts argue, it’s a false economy without investment in care.
“Chronic underfunding has seen dramatic year-on-year rationing of social care support for older and disabled people.
“Every day, our organisations hear horror stories of people who struggle to get the support they need to simply get up, get dressed and get out of the house. This has a huge impact on carers, who we know are struggling right now.
“The health service picks up the pieces when people become isolated, can’t live on their own and slip into crisis.
“One-in-three people have experience of care – but polling shows the public has no confidence in the system. Along with health, it’s voters’ top priority for investment.
“The Health Secretary underlined its importance on Monday, but care was conspicuous by its absence in the Autumn Statement.
“As more and more of us need care, and fewer and fewer of us get it, the Government needs to fund care properly, as well the health system.”