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4th February 2020 – A letter published in The Times this morning reminds us, should we need reminding, that the issues facing the NHS have not gone away. If anything, they are likely to worsen in the years ahead. The text of the letter follows:
Deficient NHS Bill
Sir, Today MPs will pass a bill to enshrine in law promised funding for everyday NHS services in England. The investment is an important signal but it does not include areas of funding crucial to the government’s election promises to provide more hospitals, nurses and GP appointments. The bill does not cover investment in buildings and equipment. Yet capital spending in the NHS is well below comparable countries; for example, we only have a third as many MRI or CT scanners as Germany. The government has announced some money for hospital upgrades but it is not enough to address the NHS’s crumbling infrastructure or fund new technology to improve care.
The NHS is facing workforce crisis but the bill does not cover education and training budgets that would help recruitment and retention. Nor does it offer any relief for the public health and social care services that help to keep people healthy and independent.
Dr Jennifer Dixon, CEO, the Health Foundation
Nigel Edwards, CEO, the Nuffield Trust
Richard Murray, CEO, the King’s Fund