Today’s speech by Prime Minister David Cameron which included commitments to extra NHS funding, seven-day services and an increase in the number of GPs has been welcomed by healthcare leaders.
Rob Webster, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “The Prime Minister’s backing for the Five Year Forward View and his personal commitment to the NHS are very welcome. He clearly recognises the shared leadership and tough decisions that are needed if we are to transform care over the next Parliament.
“A move towards seven-day services for the NHS will provide a better, safer and more responsive experience for patients and could lead to a more efficient use of NHS resources. To achieve this, a wider culture change across the NHS is needed, in addition to resolving the financial, workforce and service design challenges.”
Dr Nav Chana, chairman of the National Association of Primary Care, commented: “Any increase in the number of GPs must be accompanied by more sophisticated approaches to recruitment and retention, as well as a fundamental review of the model of care in which GPs operate.”
And on the issue of extra funding Mr Webster said: “The commitment to find the extra funding, confirmed by the Prime Minister is very welcome. Even with this funding our members will need to find £22 billion of efficiency savings. We need clarity on the phasing of growth in funding for health and care if our members are to unlock these savings and we need reassurance that social care will be properly funded. We made this clear in a letter sent to the Prime Minister and signed by more than 50 senior health leaders.
“We all need to be honest with the public about the very real and immediate pressures facing health and social care and to manage them together.”