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Directors and NHS in 'cry for help' over funding

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Digest: Organisations representing those responsible for delivering health and social care services have issued “a genuine cry for help” in calling on the government to provide additional funding in next month’s Budget.

A joint letter to chancellor Philip Hammond, co-ordinated by the NHS Confederation and signed by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, accuses the government of failing in its statutory obligations as financial constraints has led to millions of people now facing “unacceptable delays and difficulties in accessing treatment and support”.

It warns that without additional resources for the NHS and local government there will be further deterioration in the quality of care.

The letter, published today, calls on the government to revise existing spending plans and says that while there is support for reforms aimed at integrating health and social care, these changes would not close an expected funding gap over the next two years.

It adds that as sustainability and transformation funding has largely been used to bring down NHS deficits rather than reform services, the government should provide local systems £2bn additional funding in each of the next two years, ring fenced for spending on transformation.

The letter also calls on the government to bring forward the consultation on “clear and wide-ranging options” for future social care funding.

NHS Confederation chief executive Niall Dickson said: “Ahead of the budget, this is a genuine cry for help from those who are responsible for health and care services.

“The government is understandably distracted by Brexit, but if it fails to address the points in this letter, there will be a political price, on top of the price already being paid by those who rely on these services.

“The wide support for this letter should be a wake-up call for the Treasury - all the medical royal colleges, the entire NHS, major voluntary organisations plus social care and carers are calling on the government and indeed the entire political class to wake up to this challenge.”

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