Nigel Edwards (24th September 2014) provides The Nuffield Trust comments on Labour’s plans for the NHS.
The dishonesty and obfuscation will continue until after the next election… A paralysed political and administrative class needs to be freed from the shackles of fear, and only this will empower clinical staff to re-engage. Exit interviews, especially if made public, will help further..
The future funding of health and social care is arguably the big public policy conundrum of our age, yet politicians have been reluctant to address the unprecedented financial squeeze. That was until this week’s pledge by Labour of £2.5bn of new NHS spending. In this blog, Nigel Edwards examines the significance of the announcement and argues that without a plan for the NHS to break even in the next Parliament, Labour’s pledge would fall at the first hurdle.
Alarm bells have been sounding about the financial health of the NHS for some time now. Back in 2012 we warned of a yawning £30bn funding gap within a decade; earlier this year we warned of a funding crisis before the General Election; and figures released just last week showed that even the hospitals we’d expect to be financially viable are going into the red.
The situation for social care is, if anything, even bleaker: cuts of over £600m to adult social care since 2010 mean that almost a third fewer older adults receive publicly funded care now than in 2010. And concern is rising over the quality of social care as austerity bites.