NHS funding will be at one of its lowest rates in history unless the health service is given a multibillion-pound cash injection in this month’s Budget, a trio of charities warn.
A joint analysis of NHS finances in England published today by the Health Foundation, King’s Fund and Nuffield Trust calculated that the NHS needs £4 billion more next year to prevent patient care from deteriorating.
The charities warn that without the extra cash patients will be forced to wait longer for treatment, more services will be rationed and care quality will deteriorate.
They said that the next financial year would be a “crunch year” for the NHS, with funding growth slowing to 0.4 per cent.
This is the “the lowest rate of growth of this parliament and one of the lowest in NHS history,” they warn.
Seven years of austerity in the health service, coupled with rising demand, is “taking a mounting toll on patient care.”
The briefing, released ahead of the Budget on November 22, estimates that based on current spending plans there will be a funding gap of at least £20bn by 2022-23.