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Royal College of Emergency Medicine responds to the Spring Budget

6 March 2024

The Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has today (6 March 2024) unveiled the Government’s Spring Budget.

Related to the NHS his key pledges were:

  • £3.4 billion to fully fund the NHS productivity plan aimed at harnessing new technology cutting admin workloads
  • £2.5 billion to the NHS in England for 2024-25 which he said was to support the NHS to continue to improve performance and reduce waiting times
  • £35 million over three years to improve maternity safety across England.

Responding to the statement Dr Adrian Boyle, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said:

“Little in this budget will reassure our members, their colleagues or the tens of thousands of people who need to visit our overcrowded EDs every day.

“Clearly investing in technology is welcome, as is the additional money being made available to ‘improve performance and reduce waiting times’. But in terms of the total cost of running the health service £2.5bn is a tiny fraction, and is unlikely to have much tangible effect given the challenges we’re currently facing.

“The NHS is staffed by dedicated people working flat out in hospitals which are full to bursting but crumbling around them.

“What is needed – but did not materialise out of the Chancellor’s Red Box – is proper long-term resourcing which will enable the NHS to recover and start functioning as it should again.

“All the problems are fixable with the right policies and adequate funding allocation.

“We advise Mr Hunt, and his colleagues in the DHSC, to take another look at our Election Manifesto and adopt and fund the principles it sets out. Only then will we start to #ResuscitateEmergencyCare, and the rest of our struggling health service.”

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