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13
Mar

No public service cash hand-out in the Spring Statement


"We need to see urgent steps put in train to ensure sustainable long term funding for health and social care, because the current situation is unsustainable," says Saffron Cordery, Deputy Chief Executive of NHS Providers, in response to the Chancellor's Spring Statement.

 

Philip Hammond was upbeat in his projections for economic growth, falling inflation and borrowing and outlined a series of consultations on future policies, including a possible tax on single use plastics and a reduction in tax for the least polluting vans. However, there was no good news for struggling public services. 

 

"It is encouraging that the chancellor has acknowledged funding pressures faced by the NHS which mean the service can’t deliver the levels of patient care set out in the NHS constitution. This winter we have seen the impact of under-funding and a lack of staff," adds Cordery. "It is also vital that any deal that is reached on pay is fully funded, as promised in the Budget."  

 

Labour's Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell challenged the Chancellor, asking: "Does the Chancellor really believe the NHS can wait another eight months for the life-saving funds it needs? How many people have to die waiting in an ambulance before he acts?"

 

Criticism also came from several other industry experts and representatives.

 

UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis said: “The Chancellor might have promised a brighter tomorrow, but the country’s beleaguered public services remain in a dark place today.

 

“He paints a picture a world away from the everyday experiences of ordinary families, and our cash-strapped NHS, schools and community services.

 

“The one ray of hope for public services was the heavy hint that the Treasury will fund an NHS pay rise, should employers and health unions be able to reach agreement.”

 

Hitesh Dodhia, Superintendent Pharmacist at PharmacyOutlet.co.uk said: “Today’s Spring Statement delivered what we were told it would - it had little in the way of policy or reform, instead simply providing an update on the state of UK finances. 

 

“While expected, it does not make the Chancellor’s decision to water down this former ‘mini-budget’ any less disappointing; with pharmacies closing and the NHS under greater strain than ever, Philip Hammond ought to have done more to allay concerns that people’s access to healthcare is going to suffer. 

 

We can only hope that Hammond's claims that more NHS funding will be made available 'if management and unions can reach a deal' proves true, although it certainly remains a big if."


Rohit Patni, CEO and co-founder of WeMa Life said: “The Chancellor might have touted today’s Spring Statement as a success story, with the nation’s debt finally falling. But at what cost? 

 

“The health and care sectors are proof that cuts in public spending are affecting vital services relied upon by millions across the UK, and yet Philip Hammond did little to offer any clear indication or commitment to help tackle this issue through greater NHS funding. 

 

“As a result, there remains an onus on individuals to take better care of their own health or to shoulder the responsibility for sourcing domiciliary care for loved ones, in turn plugging the cracks created by Government funding cuts.” 

 

[We will add to this feedback as comments are issued]

 

 

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