The Hospital Consultants & Specialists Association has defended the principles of an NHS free at the point of use and funded by general taxation, warning against a “hypothecated tax” as a step towards an insurance-based health system.
Instead the focus should be on placing funding on a par with other similar nations as a proportion of GDP, it says in written evidence presented to the House of Lords NHS Sustainability Committee.
The case for additional funding will require a “national public debate about the expectations and future shape of the NHS.”
The association also warns of the exhausting impact of “piecemeal cuts and restructuring.”
“Service provision and public confidence have been affected, and costs have not been contained,” HCSA warns.
“If transformation is to be given a chance and is not to fall victim to the pressure on budgets, then sufficient funding must be found.”
Other recommendations include:
- A review of PFI expenditure
- A campaign of public education to encourage greater individual responsibility by imbuing patients with a sense of the financial value of NHS services
- A greater role for front line clinicians in decisions around the configuration of services
- The need to protect the 2.5-7.5 ratio of Supporting Professional Activities time to clinical duties
- A push for flexible working and family-friendly contracts to match the changing shape of the medical workforce
- Additional funding for public health functions now provided by local authorities
- “Sin” taxes on consumers of unhealthy products but also on those who manufacture, sell and promote them
The full submission is available via the Lords NHS Sustainability Committee website.