A coalition of royal colleges and health faculties has urged UK chancellor Philip Hammond to use the autumn budget to deliver a long-term investment in adult social care, public health services and the NHS workforce, or otherwise risk the NHS failing to meet demands despite the recent £20.5 billion funding increase.
In a letter addressed to the chancellor – jointly signed by the Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of Surgeons, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Royal College of Anaesthetists, Royal College of Psychiatrists, Royal College of Nursing, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Public Health and Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare – Hammond is warned that unless he uses the autumn budget as an opportunity to build upon the NHS funding settlement, plans for truly integrated care will not be possible and consequent demand on NHS services will not be manageable.
Once again we face a winter of high bed occupancy and low staff morale, which an injection of adult social care funding will significantly alleviate.
'There is no excuse for delay,' the 11 organisations write. 'Once again we face a winter of high bed occupancy and low staff morale, which an injection of adult social care funding will significantly alleviate.'
The letter also points towards a healthier population as the key to the long-term sustainability of all public services, including NHS and social care services, citing strong evidence that prevention is cost effective and arguing that every part of the system is linked. It concludes: 'We can no longer afford to plan and fund health and care services in isolation. A stronger strategy to make sure we live both long and healthy lives must start now.'
The full letter is available for download.