Chancellor’s Autumn Statement leaves Health and Social Care frozen out.
Labour’s Health and Wellbeing Lead for the City, Cllr Dan Yates, has branded the Autumn Statement ‘a missed opportunity’ after the Chancellor’s public finances statement failed to mention NHS funding or social care funding.
Lord Porter, Chair of the Local Government Association, said it was “unacceptable” that the social care funding crisis had not been addressed by the Chancellor.
The Autumn Statement highlighted over £120bn of extra debt that Brexit may add onto the national debt, and saw the Chancellor announcing tax reductions for businesses and heritage funding.
Meanwhile no additional funding was announced for the health and social care sector, which is reported to be facing its biggest ever winter crisis after years of stagnating funding and increased demand.
Cllr Yates said: “It is beyond belief that the Chancellor will reduce business taxation while allowing local health and social services to go into winter with a known £600m funding gap in Sussex and East Surrey alone. Constant financial restrictions on our local services have seen our Clinical Commissioning Group, GP services, pharmacies, hospitals and social care services working hard to try to retain safe and effective services for the sick and most vulnerable in the city. This week the CCG concluded that in just a few years’ time levels of debt could reach over half a billion pounds locally. Clearly better and fairer funding is something we urgently need to see.
“Across the country NHS leaders, GPs, councils and residents have begged the Chancellor to make extra money available to avoid a total breakdown of our beloved NHS yet the Chancellor’s attention seems more focussed than ever on his Brexit concerns and reducing spending on public services.
“I’m calling on the Chancellor now to give us a fair settlement and allow us to do our job of delivering high quality effective health and social care services for all residents of the city. If he is determined to continue the spending squeeze overall then the least he can do is to raise the cap on the social care precept above 2% in some recognition of the challenges we face, and to allow us more options for funding a safe and secure social care system in Brighton and Hove. I am convinced the only City he cares about is big business and bankers in the City of London when he should care about the tens of millions of people in towns and cities across the country who rely on the NHS and Social Services for their safety, health and continued wellbeing.”