The RCP has responded to the Chancellor’s Spring Budget.
Responding to announcements in the Spring Budget, Dr Sarah Clarke, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said:
“Too many doctors have taken early retirement because of pension taxes, so we welcome that the Chancellor has today listened to the concerns of senior clinicians. We need the skill and expertise of every doctor we have to bring down record waiting lists.
“But while the changes to the annual allowance and scrapping of the lifetime allowance should mean senior doctors are no longer forced into early retirement, it is only one part of the picture. We need to increase the number doctors and retain those earlier on in their careers by ensuring they have good working conditions and feel supported and valued.
“At last year’s Autumn Statement the Chancellor committed to a long-term workforce plan with numbers of doctors, nurses and other professionals needed to meet patients’ needs in 5, 10 and 15 years’ time – today’s Budget was an opportunity to deliver that plan in full, underpinned by funding and with a range of solutions on retention and recruitment including an expansion of medical school places. Government says the plan will be published shortly, and we urge them to do so without delay.
“Interventions on childcare and pensions will help to retain staff, but are not enough to ensure the long-term sustainability of the NHS. That requires a funded long-term workforce plan and measures to reduce demand for healthcare, which is why we’ll keep calling for a cross-government strategy to reduce health inequalities that tackles the causes of avoidable ill health.”