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Dr Jennifer Dixon, Chief Executive of the Health Foundation, said: 

‘An extra £3.4bn in capital spending to boost NHS technology is a welcome and significant investment in the health service, though it won’t kick in until 2025/26, after the general election. NHS history is littered with promises to spend more on capital and technology, budgets that have then been raided to pay for short-term pressures, so it’s essential that this money is spent as intended.’

‘Good health and a thriving economy are inexorably intertwined, as shown by persistently higher levels of economic inactivity driven by worse working-age health. As the OBR has pointed out, economic inactivity is currently weighing down on economic growth, with labour force participation projected to fall over the parliament. This underlines the importance of keeping people well in addition to treating those who are sick.’

‘The NHS has struggled to boost activity since the pandemic, so the government is right to focus on improving productivity. A 1.9% annual increase in productivity will be challenging to achieve given the huge pressure on services and staff and that gains from technology can take time to realise.’

‘An additional £2.5bn on day-to-day spending for the NHS in 2024/25 is also welcome, but no-one should be under any illusion that this will significantly reduce the long waiting times currently being experienced by patients. Social care was notable by its absence from the Chancellor’s speech.’

‘While additional funding for the NHS is welcome, other public services are still likely to take a substantial hit, with the OBR stating that unprotected departments will receive a 2.3% a year real-terms cut in funding from 2025/26. This will leave the wider public services that support good health, including local government, under significant pressure.’ 

‘With more people than ever out of the workforce due to ill health, it is time for a new approach that prioritises the long-term health and prosperity of the nation.’

Media contact

Billie Morgan
020 7257 8000
0790 8637 666

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