Jennifer Dixon, Chief Executive of the Health Foundation, responded to the speeches made by the Secretary of State and Simon Stevens at the NHS Providers conference today:

‘It is difficult to see how the intense financial pressures on the NHS will not threaten quality of care in the near future if nothing changes. Over four million people are currently waiting for treatment. The waiting list has already grown by nearly 1.4 million over the last five years. Without an extra injection of funding it is entirely possible that the NHS waiting list could top five million before the end of 2020/21, as Simon Stevens warned in his speech today.

 ‘Our joint briefing published today with The King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust calls for £4bn to stop patient care deteriorating next year – with the funding gap rising to at least £20bn by 2022/23. This isn’t exceptional: an extra £4bn in 2018/19 would simply be a return to the average increases of the first 63 years of the NHS’s history.

‘We are also pleased that the Secretary of State has listened and is planning a new workforce strategy for the NHS next year. As our latest report ‘Rising pressure’ made clear, we need to move away from short term announcements and put in place a workforce strategy that gives those working for the NHS what they need to meet the considerable challenges they face.’


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