Health

Think tanks seek more investment for NHS

A hospital corridor Image copyright Getty Images

There should be substantial new investment in the NHS in England, according to two think tanks.

A report from the Health Foundation and the King's Fund sets out a "transformation fund" that will need at least £1.5bn a year on top of £8bn the government has promised by 2020.

The fund would allow for investment in new types of care, the report says.

The Department of Health said the government was investing the additional money the NHS had asked for.

It said efficiency savings and cost control measures had to be delivered by the service.

'Decline in quality'

The report also said that front line staff need time away from their usual jobs for training.

Anita Charlesworth, chief economist at the Health Foundation, said: "While we recognise that it is challenging to provide additional funding for the NHS in the context of other services receiving cuts, the alternative is to risk a decline in quality and safety in NHS-funded care and a reduction to the services currently available.

"Without more resources specifically for transformation, the NHS will be unable to become more productive and the bill for additional running costs will only get larger."

She added: "The transformation fund should become a fundamental part of the DNA of the health service from here onwards."

Richard Murray, director of policy at the King's Fund, said dedicated funding was needed to deliver changes.

Spending review

The Institute for Public Policy Research has also released a report calling for a "transformation fund" that is independently administered by a board of politically neutral health experts.

It comes after Chancellor George Osborne told unprotected government departments they must find savings.

His spending review is calling for £20bn cuts to Whitehall budgets, although the NHS budget will be protected.

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