Responding to the Chancellor's autumn statement, Matthew Taylor chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said:
“This is a positive day for the NHS and will help plug some of the funding gap that has built up because of soaring inflation and other pressures. It will help the NHS to tackle lengthening waiting lists and continue to get performance back on track.
“In return for the money, the government is asking for challenging efficiency savings and improved performance in areas such as ambulance response times, A&E waiting times and access to general practice. This will be tough but NHS leaders will do all they can to meet the challenge and use the extra money as effectively as possible. But we must be clear with the public that we face a long road to recovery.”
“What is clear from today’s settlement is that the government has listened to NHS leaders. The Chancellor’s announcement that the government will commit to publishing an independent workforce plan for the NHS is something NHS leaders have long been calling for. It’s vital to ensuring we start to fill the 132,000 vacancies that we’ve currently got.
“NHS leaders will also welcome the government’s commitment to an increase in social care funding – this will buy extra packages of care that will help relieve some of the pressures on services. However, it is regrettable that much needed social care reform has again been delayed for another two years.
“It is also good to see the review that Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt MP will lead to look at how local NHS leaders can be handed more autonomy and control, with the right level of accountability in return. We have been making the case for local integrated care systems to truly be empowered and enabled to deliver care tailored to their communities with less central interference, so we welcome this timely and important review."
“Finally, health leaders also know only too well that the mounting cost-of-living is already having a huge impact on the lives of thousands of the most vulnerable people in our society who, despite this latest financial package, will continue to be hit hard. Despite pledges to keep the energy price cap beyond April next year people will continue to face uncertainty as they struggle with the constant fear of food and fuel poverty, prolonging the public health emergency already faced by so many.”