Responding to the Public Accounts Committee progress review on NHS financial sustainability, Dr Eleanor Roy, CIPFA Policy Manager, Health and Social Care said:
“It is disappointing to note yet another report expressing serious concerns regarding the financial position of the NHS. Today’s progress review reiterates the concerns we have long expressed regarding both the current position and the long-term sustainability of NHS finances.
“The commitments to address this set out in the Long Term Plan may provide hope for improvements. However, without detail of how this will be achieved and the support available to those in difficulty, these commitments seem optimistic. The additional shortfalls in addressing waiting times and workforce issues make the likelihood of delivering on the Long Term Plan more and more distant.
“The committee also reiterates our concerns on what’s missing from the Long Term Plan, including public health, education and training, and, most importantly, a long-term funding settlement for social care. Without this, the assumption that social care will not place any additional pressures on the NHS is unrealistic.
“The lack of clarity on social care funding will undoubtedly be having an impact on STPs/ICSs ability to formulate their five-year plans, and with the social care Green Paper delayed yet again, we are concerned that the impact of this will be increasingly significant. We wholeheartedly endorse the PAC recommendation for clarity on the assumptions that STPs/ICSs need to be working to in developing their long-term plans.”
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CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, is the professional body for people in public finance. CIPFA shows the way in public finance globally, standing up for sound public financial management and good governance around the world as the leading commentator on managing and accounting for public money.