Simon Stevens: He’s in charge of the NHS but Jeremy Hunt won’t give him enough money to do it properly.

Sue Jones has said this, so I don’t have to.

It is mischievous of Simon Stevens to refer to the £350 million a week that the Vote Leave campaign suggested was being paid to the EU and would be better spent on the NHS.

The UK never paid £350 million a week to the EU, so it is impossible for that amount of money to be ploughed into the NHS instead.

Furthermore, the money that is being paid to the EU – around £260 million or thereabouts – by rights would have to be split between policies the UK would have to take over as a nation from the EU.

It seems unlikely that a Tory government would put money into copying everything the EU did here, so some money will be left over.

But it won’t be £350 million a year.

Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England has launched a scathing attack on government spending in an extraordinary conference speech, outlining that the NHS has a significant funding problem’.  He says the health service should get the cash boost it was promised during the EU referendum.

Speaking at the NHS Providers conference in Birmingham, Stevens said failure to increase funding would add at least one million people to NHS waiting lists by 2021.

He warned that cancer care and mental health services could deteriorate, and the waiting list for hospital operations hit 5m, because ministers are giving the services billions less than it needs.

In an impassioned speech, Stevens urged the prime minsiter to give the NHS in England at least £4bn more in 2018-19 – eight times more than currently proposed – in the budget Philip Hammond will deliver on 22 November. Stevens fired the controversial claims used by Vote Leave – that the NHS could benefit by £350m a week – back at the government, to put forward the strong case for more funding, in a major speech.

With waiting times worsening, he said trust in politics would be damaged if the NHS did not get more funding. He said that while the budget had apparently grown modestly in recent years, those rises would “nose-dive” in the next few years.  Stevens also expressed concerns that some elective treatments may have to be “retrenched or rationed”.

Source: Bravo Simon Stevens, for saying what needed to be said – Politics and Insights


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