Responding to the publication of the Welsh Government’s 2024-25 Draft Budget, director of the Welsh NHS Confederation Darren Hughes said:
“NHS leaders recognise that the Welsh Government’s 2024-25 Draft Budget has been finalised against a backdrop of extremely challenging public finances across the UK.
“Similar to healthcare systems across the UK and the world, the NHS in Wales is facing a perfect storm where the cost of providing healthcare continues to rise at the same time as demand on, and expectations of, the service continue to increase.
“NHS leaders are working hard to maximise the way they use the resources available and make efficiencies in this year’s financial cycle and beyond, focusing on achieving the best outcomes for patients. But longer-term financial certainty has a big impact on the NHS’s ability to plan and deliver quality services and achieve the best outcomes for patients. The decisions made now by the Welsh Government will have a long-term impact on the health and wellbeing of the population.
“NHS leaders don’t take it for granted that the NHS receives a huge proportion of the Welsh Government budget. But the NHS is only one factor contributing to the health of the population, so we must ensure sufficient funding for sectors that directly impact the wider determinants of health, including social care.
“Further capital investment in the NHS’s estates and infrastructure is needed if we are to improve efficiencies and ensure the sustainable delivery of services in the years to come, as well as meeting Wales' Net Zero targets.
“We need an open and honest conversation with the public about what the future health and care service looks like to ensure future sustainability. The whole public service must ensure any spending decisions are planned to make the biggest impact on the lives of the communities they serve, supporting the health and wellbeing of the population, tackling inequalities and responding to the cost-of-living crisis to prevent further harm to the most vulnerable.”
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