A last desperate plea for additional funds to tackle the growing crisis in health and care services ahead of next month’s Budget is being made by a coalition representing hundreds of health and care organisations across the UK.
A letter co-ordinated by the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare system, has been sent to the Treasury ahead of the 22 November Budget. The letter has also been signed by the medical royal colleges, social services directors, the leading national charities involved in health and care, university hospitals and the organisation representing the country’s 6.5 million unpaid carers.
It warns that the NHS Constitution is already being breached and that millions of patients and those needing social care now face unacceptable delays and difficulties in accessing treatments, care, information and support.
It cites the Care Quality Commission, the national regulator in England, which has concluded that front line services are now in a precarious condition.
The coalition of organisations recognises that there will be many calls on public spending but is clear that without additional resources in this area there will be a further deterioration in what can be provided for patients, and service users and carers.
It urges the Chancellor to revisit the current spending plans for 2018/19 and 2019/20 to ensure that the system is supported to maintain high standards of care.
Niall Dickson, Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation, said:
“Ahead of the budget, this is a genuine cry for help from those who are responsible for health and care services.
“The Government is understandably distracted by Brexit, but if it fails to address the points in this letter, there will be a political price, on top of the price already being paid by those who rely on these services.
“Until now services have manged remarkably well given the growing pressures but as the Government’s own regulator has admitted these services are in a fragile state.
“Of course, there is more local services can do to improve the way services are organised, but we are clear – without further funding today’s perilous state will become tomorrow’s tragedy.
“The wide support for this letter should be a wake-up call for the Treasury – all the medical royal colleges, the entire NHS, major voluntary organisations plus social care and carers are calling on the Government and indeed the entire political class to wake up to this challenge.”