The chief executive of NHS England has said there is a “strong argument” that ministers should prioritise allocating any additional funding available to social care services rather than the NHS.
Simon Stevens used his speech at the NHS Confederation conference on Friday to dampen down any expectation that the NHS would receive additional funding in the coming years, despite the unprecedented financial challenge facing the service.
Simon Stevens said the NHS should not assume any extra funding for ‘several years’
He said: “I do not believe it would be prudent for us to assume any additional NHS funding over the next several years, not least because I think there is a strong argument that, if there were extra funding to be available, frankly, we should be arguing that it should be going to social care…
“The social care funding piece is unfinished business. It is obvious that there is going to be a widening gap between need and funding… There is uncertainty about what the back end of [this parliament] looks like given the way the way the business rates are being recycled into the local authority funding settlement.
“The national awareness about [the social care funding crisis] has moved from denial to acknowledgement and now we need to move form acknowledgement to solution and that is something that I and colleagues are advocating, pushing and working on both publicly and behind the scenes.”
Full story in the HSJ 17 June 2016