Responding to the letter from NHS England and NHS Improvement on funding for the second half of the financial year, Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare system, said:
“There will be a sense of relief across the NHS in England at this announcement. It is not just the additional investment in the service this represents, but the certainty about how it will be distributed. This will make it easier to recruit the staff and plan as we head into one of the most challenging periods in the history of the NHS.
“For some time now, at the Confederation we have been asking for greater clarity about funding and reimbursements and now we have it. Our members, the health leaders from across the NHS, will want to consider the detail but of course we are pleased that the additional cost of delivering services in the current conditions is included within these new allocations. In particular, we had called for more detail about what will continue to be funded centrally and what will be paid for by local systems or commissioning groups and that too has been included.
“More work is needed to understand the impact this funding will have on patients and we will be consulting our members in the coming days.
“In spite of this letter though, there is real trepidation across the NHS as we approach the crucial winter period, not least at the continuing failure to establish an effective test and trace operation that can support the health and care system and allow it to operate, and to suppress the virus. From GP surgeries to the largest hospitals there is a feeling they are entering this battle with one hand tied behind their backs.”