NHS funding gap must not be taken as set in stone, says UNISON in response to NHS England report

The NHS funding gap highlighted in today’s report from NHS England must not be taken as set in stone said UNISON, the UK’s largest union, today.  Money for the NHS can and should be raised through taxation. There is also huge potential for savings if the Government would rein in the increasing role of private healthcare companies, whose priority is to make profits for their shareholders.

Christina McAnea, UNISON Head of Health, said:

“Of course we should have a debate about the future of our NHS and how it should respond to the needs of patients and staff in the future.  But isn’t it ludicrous that we didn’t have that debate before the Government wasted billions of pounds bringing in the Health and Social Care Act?

“The Government’s political drive towards a market driven NHS is leading to precious money going out of the service and into the pockets of private healthcare companies. This juggernaut is set to ride roughshod over the very founding values of our health service.

“The £30bn funding gap also nails the lie that the Government is not cutting health budgets. With funding flat lining and the demand for £20bn in so-called efficiency savings, is it any wonder that the there is potentially a funding gap?  Realistic levels of funding and a more integrated approach between health and social care is the way forward.”