Hospital Dr News

Scottish royal colleges seek clarity over PM’s NHS funding plan commitment

Three Scottish medial royal colleges have written to the Prime Minister, calling for more detail on a proposed new funding settlement for the NHS.

The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow penned a joint letter to Theresa May after her March announcement that the UK Government will come forward with a long-term plan for a multi-year funding settlement for the NHS.

The colleges want the Prime Minister to stick to her commitment to include NHS leaders, clinicians and other health experts in developing a long-term funding plan.

They have called on the UK Government to set up a working group involving the Royal Colleges, healthcare practitioners, patients, the public, and politicians alike. This group would be briefed to find solutions to alleviate the pressures faced across the NHS, and would be consulted on any multi-year funding settlement for the NHS.

The organisations have also called on the Prime Minister to clarify whether she has investigated models which encourage genuine dialogue and the sharing of best practice between the UK Government, the devolved Governments and those delivering care to create an environment that supports all of those working within the NHS.

It is important to enable health systems in the four nations of the UK to learn from one another by sharing best practice and engaging partners.

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, last week revealed his top priorities for the forthcoming “long term plan” for the NHS, saying it will represent one of the “big moments in NHS history”.

President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, Professor Derek Bell, said: “It’s encouraging that Theresa May has publicly committed her Government to implementing a multi-year funding settlement for the NHS. This would help to address the problems associated with annual top-ups of the NHS budget and perhaps even depoliticise the NHS to some extent – something which we have called for in our Future for the NHS in Scotland document which we published with the Good Governance Institute.

“However, this cannot be accomplished without the knowledge and expertise of clinicians, health experts, and those leading the NHS. That is why we have proposed a working group, so that the Royal Colleges and others can feed into discussions about how we develop a sustainable, long term funding plan, and address the pressures that the NHS is currently experiencing.”

President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Professor Michael Lavelle-Jones added: “RCSEd, along with RCPSG and RCPE, is keen to offer the expertise of our Fellows and Members who are working within the NHS on a daily basis and who fully understand the challenges being faced on the frontline.”

Read the letter.

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