The chancellor has offered no additional resources for the NHS or for social care in the Autumn Statement, much to the surprise of many commentators. Existing departmental spending plans announced last year hold firm, meaning now has to be the time to “do more with less”.
An outcry is expected. Difficulties have been predicted. Cuts to services, declining performance standards and rising NHS trust deficits (or further bail-outs – from somewhere) are a near certainty.
Autumn Statement: row as care funding omitted from measures. London: BBC Health News, November 24th 2016.
Further analysis from BBC News:
Pym, H. (2016). Autumn Statement: Missed opportunity for NHS? London: BBC Health News, November 24th 2016.
Predictable political posturing from all corners:
Andrew Lansley warns of ‘difficult’ NHS years. London: BBC Politics News, November 24th 2016.
Looming Chaos / A Time For Heroes ?
The financial performance of NHS bodies worsened considerably in 2015-16. Trusts’ deficits increased by 185% to £2.45 billion, from £859 million in 2014-15. 32 CCGs have reported cumulative deficits in 2015-16 (compared to 19 in 2014-15).
This relates, in part, to:
The Comptroller and Auditor General of the National Audit Office: Morse, A. (2016). The financial sustainability of NHS bodies. London: The Stationery Office [Department of Health / National Audit Office (NAO)], November 22nd 2016. HC 785, SESSION 2016-17.
There is also an Executive Summary.
Addressing and meeting the challenge?
West, M (2016). Wisdom, vision and courage are needed to develop people and improve care. [Online]: King’s Fund, December 1st 2016.