WHY THE NHS NEEDS MORE FUNDING

The funding rises will not match rising demand. The new settlement is significantly lower than the 4.3% annual growth in the Office for Budget Responsibility’s projection of future cost pressures. This is an estimate that the IFS, think tanks and most economists agree is a fair measure of how much money the NHS needs just to keep up with demand, let alone improve standards.

Important services have been left out. The funding increase will not reach all NHS budgets. Public health is excluded even though it provides services that can prevent ill health and reduce future spending. The cost of new buildings and training staff are also left out. The NHS needs an extra 100,000 staff and £10bn worth of capital investment in community healthcare to help relieve the pressure on hospitals.

The NHS needs to invest in capacity. Seven years of underfunding has left the UK unprepared for rising demand with below average numbers of doctors, nurses, hospital beds, MRI machines, and CT scanners per head. There is a now large mismatch between the capacity of the service and the health needs of our society.