• Hugo Swire disagrees with colleague, Dr Sarah Wollaston over NHS funding

    23rd November 2016 | News | Claire
  • We will have to, however, continue to agree to differ on the NHS, among many other issues!
    I have underlined the key paragraphs.

    He is, of course, taking the government line on the £10bn. He does acknowledge (though without criticism) the creative accounting that Mr Hunt applied to get £10bn, and that the funding includes the NHS England budget only, excluding the wider department of health budget for example, which contributes to fund public health – the study and practice of reducing health inequalities – a key plank of healthcare. This has been subject to considerable cuts.

    Mr Swire’s final paragraph is perhaps most revealing. He appears to be actively pushing for a higher tax for funding the NHS while retaining the ‘free at the point of delivery’ principle.

    In a sense it isn’t anything new, he has already said as much on his blog. But what worries me is that the conservative party may actually appear to be moving in this direction. I have heard this approach allluded to by conservative councillors (where I have challenged it) at private council meetings.

    And social care will continue to be cut of course, because this is part of what council’s provide and funding is being reduced so dramatically that by 2020 the government plans to have withdrawn all funding to councils completely, leaving them to perilously rely only on business rates and council tax income to provide what will presumably be a paltry range of services.

    The National Audit Office’s report here advises that the financial pressures on the NHS are huge and are potentially damaging patient care. It urges the government to do more…. https://www.nao.org.uk/…/financial-sustainability-of-the-n…/