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BMA responds to autumn statement

Responding to today’s autumn statement as set out by the Chancellor, Dr Mark Porter, BMA chair of council, said:

“The Chancellor has chosen to ignore repeated calls from the health sector for much needed additional funding in today’s autumn statement.

“His claims that the NHS will receive £10bn in extra funding are misleading, as in reality the increase in health spending is less than half of that. This comes as figures released today show that the UK spends less on healthcare than the EU-average1.

“The NHS has been under enormous pressure for some time now and things are steadily getting worse. Earlier this week the NAO showed that the financial stress on the NHS having an impact on the quality of patient care. Our hospitals are in the red, GPs are unable to keep up with the number of patients coming through the surgery door and staff morale is low. This is unacceptable and should be a wakeup call for ministers.

“With services struggling to keep up with demand, waiting times too high and staff shortages in many areas, we desperately need a plan to put the NHS on a sustainable, long-term footing. This is especially important as new transformation plans look likely to make £22bn in cuts across the country2. The NHS is already the most efficient health service in the world - further efficiency savings alone simply will not be enough to plug the gap. We need a bold plan from the government and a commitment to invest what is needed – on both fronts the Chancellor has fallen well short.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

The British Medical Association (BMA) is the voice of doctors and medical students in the UK. It is an apolitical professional organisation 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.

  1. The figures on EU spend on healthcare can be found here;
  2. BMA analysis on STPs can be found here;
  3. You can read our briefing on NHS funding, which gives our analysis on NHS funding and efficiency savings, here;

For further information please contact:

British Medical Association, BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JP
Telephone: 020 7383 6448 
Email: [email protected]
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