NHS England and government are on collision course over fundingBMJ 2017; 359 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j5646 (Published 05 December 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j5646
- Gareth Iacobucci
- The BMJ
Last week NHS England took the unprecedented step of warning that it may be forced to abandon waiting time targets and the implementation of new clinical guidelines next year because of a lack of funding from central government.1
The stark missive was issued at an NHS England board meeting,2 in response to what most NHS leaders viewed as an inadequate settlement for the health service in the chancellor’s budget on 22 November.
While Philip Hammond did give the NHS an extra £1.6bn for 2018-19, this fell short of the £4bn that policy experts and NHS England’s chief executive, Simon Stevens,3 said was needed to maintain services at current levels next year.
In light of the settlement, NHS England has called for realism about what can be delivered from the available funds. It warned that standards on waiting times “will not be fully funded and met next year” and that the NHS may not be able to implement new guidelines …