Is £2.8 billion enough?

No-one is going to say ‘no’ to a bung of £2.8 billion, even if spread over 3 years.


But will the Chancellor’s top up for the NHS save it from  disaster?


As a long term response, almost certainly not. But in the short term it should keep the life support machine going.


From a financial angle much still depends on whether hospital trusts that spend more on patients than their budgets allow are going to be permitted to carry so-called ‘deficits’.


However £2.8 billion will still not enable the NHS to deal with the long-term annual growth in demand of around 4% per annum, everything being equal.


If things are not equal and we are faced with a serious epidemic, winter or just out of the blue, or we cannot provide enough new hospital doctors, GPs and nurses to make life tolerable for those already on the job the picture then looks very bleak.


It does not give Brent Patient Voice any satisfaction to say that we have been pointing out these problems for nearly three years now. What continues to cause us dismay is that, faced with them, the NHS has been promoting structural changes not envisaged in the latest major legislation on the NHS, spending oodles of millions on management consultants who don’t treat a single person and wrapping up their plans in obscure NHS speak.


We simply urge NHS leaders to come back into the real world, call a spade a spade, work sensibly with the hard-pressed folk who actually provide care and involve patients who know from experience what works.

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