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No new funding to tackle NHS work shortages, says Sajid Javid

Sajid Javid has announced a plan to tackle NHS workforce shortages will be published by the end of the year - but the health service will not receive any additional funding to back it, he said.

In a speech setting out widespread reforms, the health secretary on Tuesday said the NHS is the area where the government spends the most money, adding that spending increases have meant areas such as education have lost out.

Mr Javid said the UK has now come to a “crossroads” where it must choose between “endlessly putting in more and more money, or reforming how we do healthcare”.

He confirmed the government will publish a long-awaited plan for the NHS workforce by the end of the year, but in response to questions from The Independent over funding, he said it would not go above the £36 billion already promised. Mr Javid said costs for the new staffing plan would come from existing budgets.

Healthcare leaders have repeatedly called for a long-term “fully funded” plan to address staff shortages across the NHS, alongside a funding commitment for health education regulator Health Education England.

As part of the government’s latest plan to reform NHS services, the health secretary said patients who have been waiting the longest would travel to less busy hospitals or private facilities for care - with the NHS footing the bill for travel and accommodation.

He also urged people to harness the “power of families” to make a difference for their loved ones’ health, recalling when his father quit smoking at the request of his mother.

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Source: The Independent, 8 March 2022


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