Hospital Dr News

Extra NHS funds required in next five years

The NHS needs additional resources of more than 1.5% a year in real terms over the next Parliament.

The health service cannot make enough efficiency savings to bridge its projected £30bn funding gap by 2021 if its funding remains flat over the next five years.

Far from being the conclusions of a pressure group, these are the views of the NHS leadership set out in a report NHS Five year Forward View.

It’s an unprecedented warning to politicians that radical action is needed for the NHS to survive the growing pressures.

The blueprint for the next government after May’s general election sets out what the service thinks should be done between 2015 and 2020 to improve the NHS.

Even if the NHS can continue to make annual productivity gains at nearly double its long term average, its budget will be £16bn short at the end of that period.

The NHS Forward View place significant emphasis on prevention, supported self-care, improved mental health services and keeping people out of hospital.

It details new models for how care could be provided in future to deliver this. These include:

– allowing GP practices to join forces into single organisations that provide a broader range of services including those traditionally provided in hospital;

– creating new organisations that provide both GP and hospital services together with mental health, community and social care;

– helping patients needing urgent care to get the right care, at the right times in the right place by creating urgent care networks that work seven days a week;

– sustaining local hospitals where this is the best solution clinically and is affordable and has the support of local commissioners;

– concentrating services into specialist centres where there is a strong relationship between numbers of patients and the quality of care;

– improving opportunities for women to give birth outside hospital by making it easier for groups of midwives to set up NHS-funded midwifery services;

– improving  quality of life and reduce hospital bed use by providing more health and rehabilitation services in care homes;

– finding new ways to support carers by identifying them more effectively and encouraging volunteering by, for example, offering council tax reductions for those who offer help and more programmes to help carers facing a crisis

It says the next government might have to find an additional “transition fund” on top of real terms growth to introduce new models of care.

Though it says some of the money needed to “pump prime” new care models could be raised by selling off surplus NHS land and property, and by encouraging foundation trusts to spend cash sitting on their balance sheets.

NHS England’s CEO said Simon Stevens said: “The NHS is now at a crossroads – as a country we need to decide which way to go.

“It is perfectly possible to improve and sustain the NHS over the next five years in a way that the public and patients want. But to secure the future that we know is possible, the NHS needs to change substantially, and we need the support of future governments and other partners to do so.”

The Five Year Forward View is a collaboration between six leading NHS groups including Monitor, Health Education England, the NHS Trust Development Authority, Public Health England, the Care Quality Commission and NHS England.

Read the full report.

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One Response to “Extra NHS funds required in next five years”

  1. Malcolm Morrison says:

    At last! The CEO is “telling it straight” to the politicians. THEY will be forced to address the age-old problem of how to deal with the FACT that “Demand exceeds supply”.

    Somehow, politicians OF ALL PARTIES will have to put aside their poltical dogma and address the real issues facing the NHS in the 21st century – which are very different from those facing the service at its inception in 1948! If they can’t do so, they will have to consider a ‘non-political body’ looking at the problems and their possible solutions – maybe a Royal Commission?

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