King’s Fund asks Hunt: How will seven-day care be funded?

On 17th July the Commissioning review reported: King’s Fund asks Hunt: How will seven-day care be funded? Is the minister grounded in reality?

Kings Fund: (Health and social care: three priorities for the new government Mounting deficits, worsening performance and declining staff morale mean that the NHS is facing its biggest challenges for many years, while pressures on social care are escalating. The challenge for the government will be to strike a balance between addressing unprecedented short-term pressures and initiating the long-term changes needed to place the NHS and social care on a sustainable footing. The stakes could not be higher.)

Yesterday, the secretary of state set out his 25-year vision for the NHS, but Chris Ham, chief executive of The King’s Fund says the £8 billion increase will not cover his seven-day care plans.

Ham welcomed seven-day care as “the right ambition” but branded it “difficult to deliver”.

This was partly due to challenges to ensure sufficient numbers of staff are available at the weekend, and also “the question about how it will be paid for”, he added.

“The £8 billion increase in the NHS budget the government has pledged by 2020 is the bare minimum needed to maintain standards of care and will not cover the additional costs associated with a seven-day NHS,” he said.

However, The King’s Fund said there was “much to welcome” from Hunt’s speech, including the continued focus on safety and quality of care, and the emphasis on transparency and learning, rather than target-driven systems.

Ham commented: “Many of the themes in the speech will strike a chord with NHS staff but they will take time to deliver results.

“The test will be whether the emphasis on devolution and self-improvement can be maintained in the face of short-term political imperatives – ministers invariably find it difficult to resist intervening, particularly when NHS performance declines,” he said.

Kings Fund priorities:

1. New funding and higher productivity

2. A new approach to NHS reform

3. A new settlement for health and social care

Improving safety needs a “buy in” by professionals. Scapegoating and denial, and causing antagonism are not the way to treat professionals.. but they might start a war.

This entry was posted in A Personal View, Commissioning, General Practitioners, NHS managers, Professionals, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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