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RCP responds to the Autumn Statement

The RCP has responded to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.

Responding to the Autumn Statement, Dr Sarah Clarke, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said:

“The notable absence of additional support for health and the health service is concerning given waiting lists are at a staggering 7.8 million. We are heading into a difficult winter and as we have previously said, the reality is that we do not have adequate capacity in health and social care all year round.

“Hospitals and trusts are facing a difficult financial squeeze with some having to implement recruitment freezes.  The national elective activity target for 2023/4 is reduced. We know that NHS staff are facing significant pressure and feel disappointed and frustrated that they cannot provide the high quality of care that they want to and that patients rightly expect. As we have repeatedly highlighted, staff must feel valued and supported and the health service must be appropriately resourced. 

“We welcome the focus on clinical trials and health research in the Autumn Statement. We know that clinical research is essential to improving outcomes for patients and will now look at the detail.

“Investing in the health of the nation must be a priority for government – good health is an economic asset. We welcomed the government’s commitment to legislate for a smokefree generation. Government must commit to a dedicated cross-government strategy to reduce health inequalities that takes action on the root causes of illness such as poor housing, lack of educational opportunity, child poverty, the commercial determinants of health (such the marketing of food and alcohol), communities and place, employment, racism and discrimination, transport, and air quality. Tackling health inequalities, which so often start in childhood and span the life course, will support greater productivity and provide long-term savings to the NHS and wider economy by reducing avoidable illness.”