Still much work to be done if the government is to truly achieve its levelling up ambitions

Deputy chief executive of the NHS Confederation Danny Mortimer responds to an Institute for Fiscal Studies briefing on public spending.

15 August 2023

Responding to the Institute for Fiscal Studies’ report 'How much public spending does each area receive?’, Danny Mortimer, deputy chief executive of NHS Confederation, said: 

“It is good to see this report confirm that NHS money, while not perfect, is relatively well targeted towards the estimated spending needs of the areas it serves, but the uneven wider funding of other public services will be deeply concerning to health leaders. 

“Wider determinants of health at a local level – for instance quality housing, education, access to green spaces and clean air –  greatly influence general population health and NHS performance. It’s a worry that funding is not being allocated according to the relative needs of different areas, as this will exacerbate existing health inequalities, meaning that the areas with the highest levels of deprivation will continue to see the worst health outcomes. 

“Of major concern to health leaders is the appropriate funding of social care, as both a healthy community and health service are dependent on a healthy social care sector, but this report suggests that the system of funding local government is broken, meaning social care spending around the country is wildly off balance. 

“Clearly there is still much work to be done if the government is to truly achieve its levelling up ambitions. We urgently need to see a more holistic approach taken towards healthcare that acknowledges the interdependencies and wider determinants of health, and to develop a national health policy rather than just an NHS policy.”