Commenting on the report published by the House of Lords select committee on the long-term sustainability of the NHS, RCP president Professor Jane Dacre said:
We are very pleased to welcome today’s findings by the House of Lords select committee and agree with the view that for too long successive governments have failed to plan for the long-term future of the NHS.
The report’s focus on transformation and call for a long-term strategy on how we care for a changing population are essential and agree with much of our own Future Hospital work. If we are to improve the care for patients we treat, as clinicians, in collaboration with patients, we need to reshape the secondary and specialist care we provide.
However, as we highlighted in our recent report Underfunded, underdoctored and overstretched, our hospitals and NHS staff are only just coping and we cannot underestimate either the time or effort needed to make these fundamental changes. Therefore, the recommendation to increase funding for the NHS before 2020 is welcome.
We would also agree with the long-term ambition to move the NHS from an ‘illness’ service to a ‘wellness’ service, but as we outlined in our own evidence the current failure to protect and enhance the public health budget is at best shortsighted and at worst counterproductive.
You can follow Professor Jane Dacre on Twitter at @DacreJane.