21/10/2010

'Review Reinforces Commitment', Health Secretary

In line with the government's commitment to protect health spending, overall NHS spending is set to increase by 0.4% in real terms over the course of the Spending Review period.

This will include a 1.3% increase in the resource budget, and a 17% decrease in capital spending. The administration budget will be reduced by 33%, and reinvested to support the delivery of NHS services.


The settlement will allow the NHS to maintain the quality of services to patients. The health settlement also includes: additional investment to support social care (rising to £2 billion per year by 2014-15); 
expanding access to talking therapies; a new cancer drugs fund of up to £200 million a year; funding for priority hospital schemes, including St. Helier, Royal Oldham and West Cumberland; and
 NHS health research spending growing in real terms over the Spending Review.

Suggested by the public through the Spending Challenge process, the Department will be adopting a number of ideas, including; no longer delivering hard copies of 'Your guide to NHS services' to every household, increasing the use of highly qualified clinical scientists in the NHS to free up doctors time to focus on the work that only they can do, and encouraging the NHS to train radiographers to report on more of the straightforward x-rays in line with best practice so that consultant radiologists are free to assess the more complicated images, CT and MRI scans.

Alongside these efficiency improvements, the Government is seeking to introduce reforms as set out in the White Paper, "Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS".

The proposals will create a long term sustainable NHS by cutting bureaucracy and waste, putting decision-making into the hands of patients and clinicians and building a patient-centred NHS.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said:
 "The Spending Review reinforces our historic commitment to protect health spending and means that funding for the NHS will increase in real terms in every year of this Parliament. Due to the deficit and the increasing demands on NHS and care services we have had to make difficult decisions about where this money is spent and we have to make every penny count.


"That is why we have chosen to invest in supporting social care and reablement - honouring our commitment to protect the most vulnerable in our society. And ultimately a better integrated health and care system will mean a more efficient system that delivers savings in the longer term - as more people live independently and are discharged from hospitals sooner.


"NHS organisations have already started a wide-ranging efficiency drive to make savings that can be redirected into patient care. And we also want to see a 33 per cent real terms cut in the administration budget, saving around £1.9 billion. But that is not enough. The NHS budget will have to stretch further than ever before in these difficult times - and so reform isn't an option, it's a necessity in order to sustain and improve our NHS. The proposals I set out this summer will cut waste and bureaucracy and put patients and doctors in control to build a high quality health service."

(BMcN)

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