Intended for healthcare professionals

Medicopolitical Digest

NHS funding confused by lack of clarityGuidance issued on discretionary pointsDeaf patients do not get such good treatmentPatients with hip fracture need better care

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 19 February 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:519

The BMA says that lack of clarity is confusing the issue of NHS spending in England and calls for less “spinning” of funding announcements.

In a briefing paper from its health policy and economic research unit the association says that establishing a clear picture of the exact level of funds available to the NHS and the way that it is distributed is not straightforward. The paper examines several press notices announcing spending decisions. It concludes: “The three year settlement for the NHS established by the comprehensive spending review has provided some stability for the NHS. However, to some extent this has been undermined by the way that the funding allocations have been presented. Top slicing, by means of the modernisation fund and, in some instances, repeat announcements of the same new funding have made it difficult for those delivering services to understand what money is available and to plan accordingly.” The BMA says that in future the government should make clear what the source of funding is.

The paper will …

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