The Nuffield Trust report on squeezed NHS funding for the next decade is warning of “a world of growing health inequalities” hitting the most disadvantaged.
Unite, the country’s largest union with 100,000 members in the health service, was commenting on A Decade of Austerity: The funding pressures facing the NHS from 2010/11 to 2021/22, which is based on a model by the Nuffield Trust into the future pressures on NHS services in England.
Unite head of heath, Rachael Maskell said: “The stark message underpinning the Nuffield report is a future world of increasing health inequalities where the most deprived in society will bear the brunt of a cash-starved NHS.
“This will ripple out when local authorities in England take on the public health portfolio next spring.
“Continuing coalition reductions to the local councils’ budgets will mean serious knock-on effects to their finances which will result, in turn, to steep cuts to lunch clubs for the elderly and day centres by town halls and cash-strapped charities.
“This will have an accumulative negative effect to the health and well-being of some of the most disadvantaged groups in society.
“If the government is allowed to get away with its savage cost cutting to the NHS; the poor, the mentally ill, the disabled, and the elderly face a grim future.”
According to the Nuffield Trust, the NHS could experience a £44-£54 billion funding gap in 2021/22, if it fails to deliver unprecedented productivity gains over the next decade, or public finances improve enough to allow health funding to increase faster than inflation.
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.