Health Foundation warning on NHS funding ‘likely to be tip of iceberg’

Matthew Taylor comments on estimates from the Health Foundation's REAL Centre that the NHS needs up to £16.8bn up to 2024/25.

6 September 2021

Commenting on new analysis from the Health Foundation’s REAL Centre, Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “This stark warning from the Health Foundation comes as no surprise, but it is likely to be the tip of the iceberg. The £16.8 billion is the minimum needed to clear the backlog, but on top of this, the NHS is facing almost £5 billion of extra day-to-day running costs. As our report with NHS Providers last week estimated, the frontline NHS will need an extra £10 billion next year alone to avoid cuts to patient services.

“This funding is in addition to the costs of delivering the government’s key manifesto commitments of building 40 new hospitals and reforming our overstretched social care system, as well as meeting the ongoing central government bill for COVID-19 activities like Test and Trace and vaccination.

“It’s critical that the government now makes good on its promise to give the NHS ‘whatever it needs’. This will mean the health service can continue doing the vital work of both managing the ongoing threat from COVID-19 and tackling the huge backlog of care that has built up. We now urgently await clarity on both the size of the NHS budget for the second half of this year and the shape of investment from next year onwards to ensure health leaders are not forced to cut services.”