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NHS needs more investment

Thursday 23rd July 2015
A new report from thinktank the Kings Fund calls for more investment for the NHS. Image Credit: Neustockimages
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A new "transformation fund" should be invested in NHS England, which would enable the health service to invest in new types of care.

According to the report by the King's Fund and the Health Foundation, there should be an additional £1.5 billion injected into healthcare on top of the £8 billion already pledged by the government by 2020.

It states that a 'business as usual' approach is not sustainable for the NHS in England, citing issues such as changing population needs and a prolonged funding squeeze. This, according to the report, has put the NHS is a period of "unprecedented challenge", where it is experiencing intense financial and service pressures. 

However, it also highlighted the importance of enabling doctors and nurses to have time away from the hospital to complete training.

Anita Charlesworth, chief economist at the Health Foundation, said: "While we recognise that it is challenging to provide additional funding for the NHS in the context of other services receiving cuts, the alternative is to risk a decline in quality and safety in NHS-funded care and a reduction to the services currently available."

She added that, without more resources focused on transformation, the NHS will be unable to become more productive and running costs will only increase.

"The transformation fund should become a fundamental part of the DNA of the health service from here onwards," Ms Charlesworth said.

The 'Making change possible: A Transformation Fund for the NHS' report is the result of intensive research carried out by both thinktanks. It states that the transformation fund should be independently administered and its main aim would be to support and encourage changes in the health service.

It recommends that between 2016/17 and 2020/21, the first phase of the transformation fund should focus on the challenges posed to the NHS. With an investment of between £1.5 billion and £2.1 billion, the fund would need additional contribution, though incorporating existing provisions for transformation is likely to generate some of the finances needed.

Written by James Puckle

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