NHS Confederation responds to the appointment of Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP as Prime Minister

Matthew Taylor responds to the appointment of the Rt.Hon. Rishi Sunak as Prime Minister

24 October 2022

Responding to the appointment of the Right Honourable Rishi Sunak MP as the new leader of the Conservative Party and shortly to be appointed as the new Prime Minister, NHS Confederation chief executive Matthew Taylor, said:

 “We congratulate the Rt Hon Rishi Sunak on his appointment as the new leader of the Conservative Party leader and imminently new Prime Minister especially as the first British Asian person to hold this office.

 “However, as we head into what is largely expected to be the worst winter for the NHS for decades, he will understand it will be crucial that as incoming Prime Minister, he and his team act quickly and decisively to support both health service and social care staff throughout the most difficult of weeks and months ahead.

“That means taking immediate action that helps to mitigate the considerable risks the NHS is facing in the short term ahead of winter.

 “It also means using the upcoming fiscal event to ensure patients and local communities are shielded from bearing the brunt of any further efficiency savings demanded of the NHS by the government.

 “As former Chancellor, the Prime Minister will understand well the direct link between health and wealth.  Our recent analysis clearly shows, every pound invested in the NHS results in £4 back in wider economic activity – so as well as delivering for patients, the NHS can and should be viewed as a vital building block for the economic growth of the country.

 "Health leaders and their teams will, as always, do all they can to improve efficiency and productivity in the NHS as well driving down waiting lists as much as possible, something which the soon to be new Prime Minister showed commitment to tackling during his summer leadership campaign.

 “But the government much recognise that these efforts are being hampered by budgets which have been hit very hard by inflationary pressures which have already left the NHS facing a £7bn gap in the budget next year compared to that set out in the 2021 spending review.

“NHS leaders are sending a very stark warning that against a backdrop of 132,000 staff vacancies and a waiting list of over 7 million, any further efficiency savings will plunge the health service into an unsustainable crisis.”