British Medical Association Calls for Immediate £9.5 Billion NHS Investment

The British Medical Association has suggested that modernising and securing the future of the health service in England could cost in the region of £10 billion.

And the authoritative organisation was quick to point out that the healthcare system simply does not have these funds at present.

In an attempt to address the future of the NHS system, health managers in 44 areas across the country have been tasked with creating sustainability and transformation plans (STPs).

But the BMA believes that regardless of such schemes, significant capital investment is simply requisite.

The doctors’ organisation estimates that precisely £9.53 billion will be required in order to for the healthcare system to provide adequate care and services going forward.

This figure was derived after the union, which represents doctors, distributed Freedom of Information request to all areas within the NHS system.

Dr Mark Porter, the BMA’s chief, was blunt regarding the seriousness of the situation.

“These figures are especially concerning given that everyone can see a huge crisis unfolding within our NHS, with record numbers of trusts and GP practices raising the alarm to say they already can’t cope. The NHS is at breaking point and the STP process could have offered a chance to deal with some of the problems that the NHS is facing, like unnecessary competition, expensive fragmentation and buildings and equipment often unfit for purpose. But there is clearly nowhere near the funding required to carry out these plans.”

More than half of the areas involved in the STP program have already informed NHS England that they require in excess of £100 million of upfront funding in order to make the changes recommended by the authorities.

And Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Cheshire and Merseyside, Greater Manchester, North Central London, North East London and West Yorkshire will all require at least £500 million.

The BMA suggests that several NHS obligations have yet to be met, while a quarter of the capital budget has already been used up in order to prop up revenue, according to NHS Providers.

And the aforementioned Porter suggests that the approach undertaken by the authorities will be insufficient to drive the needs of the NHS in meeting patient demand.

“These plans are fast becoming completely unworkable and have instead revealed a health service that is unsustainable without urgent further investment, and with little capacity to ‘transform’ in any meaningful way other than by reducing the provision of services on a drastic scale.”

Responding to the comments of the British Medical Association, an NHS England spokeswoman suggested that more collaboration and togetherness is required within the NHS system.

“Rather than just commenting from the sidelines, local health and care leaders and clinicians are coming together to actually try and solve some deep-seated problems by identifying practical ways to improve services. Yes, there are well known pressures and constraints facing the NHS, but for patients’ sake we should obviously all try and make the best of the situation, rather than just stand to one side and say ‘well I wouldn’t start from here’.”

 

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