This afternoon Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced £2.8bn funding for frontline NHS services in England over the next three years.
We’re pleased about this additional investment in the NHS, but it falls well short of what’s needed. Leading health experts estimate the NHS needs £4 billion next year alone to meet demand. And the funding gap is set to reach £20 billion by the end of 2022.
Underfunding is having a worrying impact on the quality and availability of NHS services people with MS can access.
Social care left in crisis
This year we've campaigned together with you, health sector leaders, and other charities, calling on the government to urgently address the care crisis.
The government has committed to publishing a social care consultation to address long-term funding in summer 2018. But that does little to help people who need social care today.
Currently, it’s estimated we need an additional £2.5 billion for social care for 2019/20 alone. Tragically, the Chancellor missed today’s opportunity to prove this government is committed to fixing the social care system.
Where was welfare?
The Chancellor also announced a £1.5bn package to improve the Universal Credit system. This includes the removal of the seven-day waiting period at the beginning of a benefit claim. That means entitlement to Universal Credit will start on the day of the claim.
While this is a welcome change for new claimants to Universal Credit it doesn't help anyone currently struggling with other benefits. We know people living with MS have lost at least £6 million per year in reduced support since Personal Independence Payment (PIP) was introduced.
Too much missing
Our Chief Executive, Michelle Mitchell says: “This Budget will come as a huge disappointment to people with MS. The additional NHS investment, while welcome, falls far short of the extra £4 billion a year health leaders say is needed. This risks undermining not only recent exciting developments in MS treatments, but also quality and access to NHS services.
“Unless the health and social care funding gap is addressed, people with MS, their families and carers will continue to pay the price for a system unable to cope with demand.”
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