The NHS’s ability to deliver the priorities of its new plan will be affected by government decisions on funding for other health and care services, according to the financial watchdog.
In a recent report, the NAO warns that, while the NHS is set to receive an average 3.4 per cent uplift in funding, spending in other key areas – including prevention initiatives run by Public Health England and local authorities – will be decided later this year in the 2019 Spending Review.
“Spending in these areas could affect the NHS’s ability to deliver the priorities of the long-term plan, especially if funding for these areas reduces… In addition, without a long-term funding settlement for social care, local NHS bodies are concerned that it will be very difficult to make the NHS sustainable,” says the report.
Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “A sustainable NHS is not possible without a sustainable social care sector and public health programme. If the NHS is going to thrive, we need to make sure that public health budget cuts are reversed and that our social care services are properly funded and sustainable.
“Reductions in public health funding undermine our ability to improve the public’s health and to keep pressures off the NHS and social care.”