Jason Parker, Head of Healthcare at KPMG, comments on what he would like to see from the Autumn Statement.
He says: “We already have some indication from the media that the NHS will not receive any more funding, which is really disappointing. The quality of this amazing institution is at risk, and the UK’s spend on its health system should be on par with other European countries. According to the King’s Fund, our spend on healthcare as a proportion of GDP puts us at the thirteenth worst in Europe.
“Considering the current workforce crisis, I hope that the Government will allocate funds to a national programme to develop the ‘right workforce for tomorrow’. It is critical that the NHS invests time and money in considering the specialisms we will need in the future. With a shift away from care in the hospital setting to community care, the NHS will be more sustainable if it trains up more doctors and nurses to be ‘generalists’, and fewer as specialists. In the US for example, ‘hospitalists’ care for a wide variety of people in hospitals and plug gaps where there’s poor staffing.
“I’d also hope to see a real focus on specific funding to drive forward the plans that ensure healthcare funding is based around the needs of local populations, rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach. In NHS speak, these plans are called ‘Sustainability and Transformation Plans’ and were introduced in 2015 to give regional NHS leaders the power to prevent ill health at a local level. While the NHS has been strong on ideas and writing plans, it has been poor on execution. The Government now needs to focus its investment on putting these plans into action.”
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