Responding to a report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) which says the disproportionate growth in spending on specialised services poses a risk to the financial sustainability of the wider NHS, Dr Mark Porter, BMA council chair, said:
“This is yet another warning about the financial crisis that is engulfing the NHS.
“Patients should be able to get the treatment they need where and when they need it, instead of essentially robbing one part of the system to pay for another. Unfortunately, despite government claims to the contrary, NHS funding has not kept up with rising patient demand and the increased cost of delivering care. Staff shortages are seen across the NHS, patients are waiting longer for appointments, and there is no real solution to the £22bn funding gap facing our health service.
“Patients deserve more than shoddily planned healthcare and funding. The new prime minister must, as a priority draw up a long term strategy for the NHS that addresses the fundamental workload and funding challenges that are overwhelming our health service. Failure to invest now will result in a disaster in the future both financially and in terms of patient health and care.”
Notes to editors
The British Medical Association (BMA) is the voice of doctors and medical students in the UK. It is an apolitical professional association and independent trade union, representing doctors and medical students from all branches of medicine across the UK and supporting them to deliver the highest standards of care.