Responding to the Prime Minister’s speech outlining a long-term funding plan for the NHS, Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, said:
“The Prime Minister has thrown down the gauntlet and made clear that the NHS and its staff can now help to shape its future. That is hugely welcome.
“The new money represents a major investment guaranteed over a five year period and quite rightly government and society will expect the NHS to deliver. But we must set realistic goals and make clear that there will be hard choices ahead.
“The danger is that we overpromise and under deliver.
“The biggest challenge will be to make sure we do not just put more money into existing services but instead reform the way services are run.
“We are delighted that the Prime Minister remains committed to making sure we have the staff we need, that mental health is properly resourced and that social care gets its own long term plan. On social care, certainty for the future is needed now – without it the NHS plans outlined today simply will not work.
“This sizeable investment falls some way short of the 4% extra-a-year figure the evidence-based independent report we commissioned said was required to meet future challenges. These will still be tough years ahead.”