As we approach the 70th birthday of the NHS and the Prime Minister prepares to set out a longterm plan for the future of our National Health Service, it is welcome that we are now having a national debate on the financial sustainability of the NHS.
Medical Royal Colleges have consistently called for increased funding for the NHS, public health and social care and last week’s report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Health Foundation “Securing the future: funding health and social care to the 2030s” sets out the challenges facing the health service and makes a strong case for the urgent need for an increase in spending just to maintain NHS provision at current levels.
The report makes clear that increases of c.4% a year will be needed if the Government wishes to improve NHS services, including meeting waiting times targets and addressing under-provision in mental health services.
The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges fully supports this call to ensure the financial sustainability of the NHS in the long-term. We urgently need a settlement for the NHS and social care which goes beyond managing short-term crises, acknowledges the financial deficits across the sector, and recognises the need to invest in transformation and recruitment.
As leaders of medical professionals working within the health service, we recognise that alongside increased funding there need to be substantial changes in how health and care services operate and ways of working, if we are to deliver the shared goal of providing firstclass, integrated care for patients.
We call on the government to put in place a long-term solution to NHS and social care funding which enables this to happen.
Professor Carrie MacEwen MD, FRCOphth, FRCS, FFSEM, FRCPE
Chair, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges
On behalf of:
Professor Derek Alderson, President, Royal College of Surgeons of England
Professor Derek Bell, President, Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
Professor Alan Boyd, President, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine
Or Liam Brennan, President, Royal College of Anaesthetists
Mr Mike Burdon, President, Royal College of Ophthalmologists
Professor Wendy Burn, Royal College of Psychiatrists
Professor Jane Dacre, President, Royal College of Physicians of London
Dr Anne De Bono, President, Faculty of Occupational Medicine
Professor Michael Escudier, Dean, Faculty of Dental Surgery
Professor David Galloway, President, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
Dr Tajek Hassan, President, Royal College of Emergency Medicine
Dr Paul Jackson, President, Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine
Dr Asha Kasilwal, President, Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health
Mr Mike Lavelle-Jones, President, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
Professor Jo Martin, President, Royal College of Pathologists
Professor John Middleton, President, Faculty of Public Health
Professor Lesley Regan, President, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair, Royal College of General Practitioners
Professor Russell Viner, President, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child
Professor Carol Seymour, President Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine
Dr Nicola Strickland, President, Royal College of Radiologist
Dr Carl Waldman, Dean, Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine