'Today’s announcement of an extra £5.4bn for the NHS for the remainder of 2021/22 is welcome. It’s a reminder of the scale and enduring impact of the pandemic on the NHS. This takes COVID-19 spending on the NHS to £15bn this year, similar to the extra cost incurred last year. But it’s important that the government recognises that this is only the first instalment of the substantial funding needed to put the NHS on the road to recovery. With the pandemic far from over and huge uncertainties about winter pressures, the government should continue allocating further funding to the NHS for the current year based on need.
'COVID-19 will impact the NHS for many years to come, services won’t just bounce back to ‘business as usual’ next spring. Significant additional investment will be needed for the rest of this parliament and beyond to make progress on the elective care backlog, as patients who weren’t treated during the pandemic return, and to meet rising demand for mental health and primary care services. But even with further funding, the extra staff, beds and equipment needed to treat the backlog of patients may prove the biggest constraint. There will need to be realism about the speed at which the NHS can recover waiting times and honesty with the public about what this means for patient care.'
020 7257 2093