04 / 12 / 2014 11.01am
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has just finished presenting his Autumn Statement for 2014 and I thought that you would find a quick summary of the key NHS and workforce announcements that you can share with your Board and colleagues, useful.
The main announcement for the NHS was confirmation of the much trailed additional £2bn of funding. This is good news for the NHS and provides funding to bridge the gap between what is currently being spent and what needs to be spent in 2015/16 to continue delivering high quality services.
Our colleagues at the NHS Confederation, through the 2015 Challenge, have been clear that NHS finances need to be shored up next year, so we can build a platform for the next five years. Responding to the announcement of additional funding earlier this week, NHS Confed highlighted the three sets of changes they would like to see in relation to NHS finances: investment to bridge the gap in 2015/16 recurrently, investment in transformation and a long term settlement for the NHS that brings certainty.
We remain though concerned about the impact funding for social care will have on the NHS. There is an expected £4bn gap in social care funding by 2020 that represents 29 per cent of its budget. It is a false economy to make resources available to the NHS, but continue to apply cuts to social care. We therefore need a sustainable funding settlement for both health and care that recognises the link between them.
You can read more about the 2015 Challenge on the Confed website.
The announcement of additional finding is likely to prompt questions from staff about the impact this may have on the ongoing pay dispute between NHS unions and the Government. The Chancellor indicated as part of his Autumn Statement today, that public sector pay restraint will continue.
There were also some other key announcements in today’s statement that may be of interest to you.
Autumn Statement – key announcements
- The government is providing £2 billion of additional funding for frontline NHS services in England in 2015-16.
- £1 billion will fund advanced care in GP practices over four years in England; this has come from fines collected by the Financial Conduct Authority from five banks for failures in foreign exchange trading.
- In England, at least £15 million will go to research in dementia, £150 million over five years will be invested to support young people with eating disorders.
- £200 million will go to develop new ways of caring for patients. £1.5 billion will go to local NHS services next year.
- Extending the £2000 employment allowance to include carers.
- Hutton public sector pensions reforms to be completed, saving £1.3bn per year.
- Air ambulance and hospice charities will be eligible for VAT refunds from 1 April 2015.
- Fuel duty to remain frozen.
- Removal of employer National Insurance contributions (NICs) on apprentices under 25.
- Student loans of up to £10,000 for postgraduate masters.
- Personal tax free allowance to rise to £10,600 not £10,500 from next April.
- Higher rate tax threshold to rise from £41,865 this year to £42,385 next year.
We will of course update our website pages as we get more information and provide further information in our workforce and manager bulletins.
I look forward to meeting many of you at the regional HRD meetings over the coming months, but feel please feel free to send me any comments or feedback you may have on how we can help and support you.
You can contact me at email@example.com and you can also follow me on twitter.