Chancellor leaves NHS with “unrealistic budget for the year ahead”

While the 2023 Spring Budget was good news for wealthy people adding to hefty pension pots, informed observers appear unanimous in warning that Jeremy Hunt’s failure to increase revenue or capital allocations to the NHS will have serious consequences.

The Nuffield Trust’s Sally Gainsbury dismissed the budget in a press release of just five scathing paragraphs, noting:

““Just two weeks from the new financial year, the NHS has been left with an unrealistic budget for the year ahead.  …

Our analysis of DHSC spending and government inflation projections finds that today’s Budget leaves the NHS with a £2 billion real terms funding cut from April this year. The NHS has been left with little certainty over how it will meet growing demand or address a workforce in crisis.”

She concludes: “It seems almost inevitable that the Chancellor will have to return to Parliament to address this in the not-too-distant future.”

The Health Foundation’s CEO, Dr Jennifer Dixon, also joins the consensus in warning:

“Without a credible plan for expanding and supporting the health and care workforce over the long term, the NHS will struggle to recover services and improve care for patients.”

Full story in The Lowdown, 24 March 2023