The Association of Anaesthetists Responds to the Spending Review
Responding to Chancellor Sajid Javid’s announcement of a £6.2bn increase for health and care, the Association of Anaesthetists President Dr Kathleen Ferguson commented. "The much-needed extra funding is a step in the right direction, but after many years of under-funding, much more is needed to address the current shortfall and tackle the workforce crisis and lack of investment into infrastructure over the last ten years. A longer-term and more substantial approach to funding both health and social care is needed to support the delivery of the ambitious NHS Long-term Plan and the NHS Interim People Plan."
The Association points to severe staff shortages in the anaesthesia workforce, and cautions that the funding announced will not be enough to support the increase in training necessary to address the crisis. It takes nine years to train an anaesthetist, and current forecasts predict a gap between numbers required and the increasing demands being placed on NHS services.
Dr.Ferguson added: “The workforce needs to grow into order to provide the level of care patients require and it is vital that the funding is provided to fill these gaps: There is little point in building new facilities if there is no workforce and the government needs to work on joining up the pieces of the jigsaw. We urge the Government to commit to a realistic funding settlement which matches the expectations set out in the NHS Long-term Plan and the NHS Interim People Plan."
Association response to the NHS Interim People Plan, June 2019
Association response to the NHS Long Term Plan, May 2019