Health secretary: austerity has not contributed to NHS problems – News Block

The restraint in spending in the NHS during the 2010s has not contributed to the current problems in health services, the health secretary has insisted.

Steve Barclay rejected the findings of a King’s Fund report from April, which said the NHS had “declined since 2010, as a result of much lower funding increases, limited funding for capital investment and neglect of workforce planning.” “.

speaking to sky news ahead of the NHS’s 75th anniversary celebrations, he explained: “In the period between 2010 and 2015, when there was a coalition government, we were dealing with the consequences of the financial collapse under the previous government in 2008. And difficult decisions had to be made in that period”.

He added: “Of all the departments that the Cameron-Clegg government protected, Health was actually more protected than other departments. But it is like that, we have had an older population, medical advances, costs have increased ”.


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The King’s Fund report, presented to Mr Barclay, details: “Multi-year funding increases and a series of reforms resulted in major improvements in NHS performance between 2000 and 2010.”

The report, authored by Professor Chris Ham, adds: “The coalition government (2010–15) and successive Conservative governments since then have ignored warning signs of deteriorating performance, preferring to use short-term solutions instead of looking for long-term solutions. solution”.

David Cameron, who became prime minister as part of a coalition deal with the Liberal Democrats, wore campaign banners promising to “cut the deficit, not the NHS” during the 2010 general election campaign.

From 2010, there was a focus on protecting funds for the day-to-day running costs of the NHS. However, for much of the decade, the protection of NHS services was just a protection relative to the cuts faced by other public services, without increasing funding in line with historical growth in NHS spending or demand for services.

Cameron opted to cut annual NHS budget increases from 3.6% of work to an average of just 1.5% as the key reason for the loss of service capacity.

Pressed this morning on the question of whether spending cuts were a contributing factor to growing waiting lists and poor performance by the health service, Barclay said: “We are investing in our workforce, in our NHS heritage, in The latest technology. This is how we build a sustainable NHS for the future.”

Addressing the 75th anniversary of the health service, Mr Barclay continued: “I think the NHS really is at the heart of our national life. So while its scale has changed, its ability to save lives and treat people has come a long way. It has also stayed very true to itself, and if you look at, for example, Her Majesty The Queen awarding the St George’s Cross to the NHS, that just underlines how central it is to the British public.”

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