19 June 2018: The recent announcement heralding a brave new world for the NHS was sadly short-lived. Almost before the IFS (Institute of Fiscal Studies) could rubbish its rash promise of a Brexit dividend, it was deemed ‘tosh’ by Tory MP and Chair of the Health Select Committee, Sarah Wollaston. Others weren’t slow in joining the chorus of contempt.
Theresa May’s weekend promise of £20BN more for the NHS seemed to wither before our eyes almost before we could take it in. Yes, there will be more money, eventually. But most of it won’t be seen for some time. There will be more details in the autumn we’re told, but the urgently awaited Green Paper on adult social care is promised before the summer recess i.e. next month… So, how will the much vaunted integration work? What’s more, the IFS and others emphasise that public expenditure is likely to fall unless taxes and/or productivity rise significantly.
Meanwhile, councils and NHS Trusts are bracing themselves for further cuts to come. Last week, former health minister Lord Darzi supported by the Institute of Public Policy Research, argued that the NHS would need £50bn more by 2030 – just 12 years ahead. The NHS has been starved of its normal growth pattern for many years. Most pundits argue that a lot more than £20bn will be needed just to catch up. As you were….