George Osborne’s short-term relief for the NHS falls short of a cure

The chancellor’s promise of more cash for the NHS masks substantial cuts outside the core funding, while the increase fails to keep pace with rising demand. The spending review might mitigate some of the worst extremes of the immediate crisis, but it will not secure long-term sustainability or changes to the way care is delivered.

As Anita Charlesworth, chief economist at the Health Foundation, pointed out, substantial areas of critical spending have been stripped out of the definition of the NHS and the wider health system will suffer a real-terms cut of more than 20% by 2020-21. This includes junior doctor training, health visiting, health education, sexual health and vaccinations.

On top of this public health is being hit hard, with a 4% cut every year in real terms. The government is also going to consult on whether public health spending should be fully funded by business rates.

Full story in The Guardian 27 November 2015