Doctors tell chancellor to invest in health and social care

Author: Mark Gould

Doctors representing 30 medical specialist societies and faculties including the Royal College of Physicians have written to the chancellor calling for multi-billion pound investment in public health and social care in this week’s budget.

They say the government has an opportunity to create a “healthier, happier and fairer well-led society where health and wellbeing are at the centre of all policies” achieved through sustained investment into the health and social care system.

In the letter they are calling on the government to use this budget to invest in public health and social care.

“The Local Government Association puts the Adult Social Care funding gap at £3.6 billion by 2024/25 and the Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation calculates that public health similarly needs an extra £3.2 billion,” they write.

The signatories go on to state that, “We have an ageing society living with multiple health conditions, growing health and economic inequalities, an NHS and social care workforce at breaking point, a tired NHS estate and a fragile social care system”.

They say the current government response to COVID-19 underlines the importance of a strong health and care system and that now is the time for the government to recognise the sheer scale of the challenges facing our NHS and social care services.

The budget offers the opportunity for the government to make inroads into its manifesto promise to “invest in preventing disease as well as curing it”.

The government must recognise that unless we invest in the NHS and all parts of the health and care ecosystem, plans for truly integrated care will never be realised, they say.

“This would mean patients being failed, and demand on the NHS continuing to grow in an unmanaged way. The time to invest is now. We urge you to seize the opportunity to create a healthier and more prosperous nation.“

The letter follows an earlier letter from the Royal College of Physicians to the chancellor around the need for a long-term solution to the pension’s taxation problem.