Responding to today’s Government spending review, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, said:
“After years of underinvestment, the NHS has been left struggling to cope with year-round pressures, leaving patients suffering long waits and doctors and their colleagues with rock-bottom morale.
“Today represents another missed opportunity from the Government to turn this around.
“Of the £6.2bn NHS funding lauded by the Chancellor today, two-thirds of it comes from money announced under the last Prime Minister in 2018 – which the BMA is clear will not be enough to deliver the Government’s ambitions in the Long-Term Plan. Most of what’s left is money announced for hospital upgrades last month, largely funded through savings already made by hospitals.
“There was no reversal to the £1bn public health cuts since 2015, so that common illnesses can be prevented; no detail on exactly how the Government plans to support doctors in training, stop them leaving through burnout, and future-proof our medical workforce; and no long-term capital spending plan to address the £6bn maintenance backlog or investment in GP practice premises, so desperately needed to ensure patients are being treated in safe, up-to-date buildings.
“Meanwhile, the success of our health service relies on a high-quality, safe and properly-funded social care system, and the £1.5bn announced today falls short of what experts say is urgently needed to stave off the crisis in social care.
“These are all areas that need urgent attention and long-term investment, not desperate short-term measures.
“Amid the chaos unfolding in Parliament, the NHS needs certainty, and today’s one-year plan, rushed out ahead of the October 31 Brexit deadline, does nothing of the sort.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.