UNISON: NHS cash boost welcome, but it’s not enough

Commenting on the NHS funding announcement on Saturday, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said:

“Any extra money for the NHS will be welcomed by the staff whose dedication and hard work have seen it through the toughest of times.

“But it’s not enough, it isn’t the long-term funding package health workers will have been hoping for, and there’ll be fears of strings attached.

“For years the government thought it could get away with scandalously low levels of health funding because, compared to cuts elsewhere, the NHS looked protected. But this wasn’t the case and consecutive winter crises left ministers with nowhere to hide.

“Although the billions promised will keep services running, it falls far short of what’s needed to save social care services and is unlikely to be enough to keep pace with growing demand.

“More importantly, the NHS needs a funding guarantee, not a pledge borne out of fantasy economics, and the dubious prospect of a Brexit bonanza, to see it out of the woods.

“NHS staff will also want a commitment that the pay deal they’ve just accepted isn’t a one-off. That there’ll be extra funding in future for above inflation wage rises, which aren’t at the expense of services or patient care.”

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