UNISON says ring-fence on health spending is all an illusion

UNISON, the UK’s largest union, today hit back at calls by Liam Fox, Vince Cable and other senior Tories to cut health spending, calling the Government’s NHS ring-fence “an illusion”.

Just last year the Government clawed back 1bn into the Treasury from the NHS, following its demand for £20bn in so called efficiency savings – this is money that should have been reinvested into patient care.

Christina McAnea, UNISON Head of Health, said:

“Patients, nurses, doctors and health staff will be appalled to hear Government ministers calling for cuts in NHS spending. The NHS is under severe financial strain and the public are not fooled by claims that spending on health is in reality ring-fenced.

“The ring-fence is an illusion when in reality jobs are going, Trusts are being told they must make £20bn in so-called efficiency savings, when the costs of treatment and drugs keeps on rising and when we have a growing elderly population that needs more medical treatment.

“Instead of doggedly pursuing policies that are failing the country, the Government should be investing in jobs and infrastructure to get this country out of the financial mire.”