RCN comments on dire predictions for public finances
Published: 20 July 2009
The Royal College of Nursing says that investments in UK health services must continue.
The comments come as research is published by the King's Fund and Institute for Fiscal Studies which suggests large cuts or tax rises may be necessary to balance public spending.
The RCN states that wasted spending must be identified, prevented and reinvested before cuts in frontline services are considered. The College says this is more important than ever given the increasing demands on health services and threats to public health during the economic downturn.
RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary Dr Peter Carter describes the report as 'very alarming' and says that expert nursing staff can also save money for patients by helping to manage long term conditions. Dr Carter adds:
"We should make sure we remember why we cannot afford to stop investing in the health service. Doing so would undo a decade of investment which has resulted in more facilities, shorter waiting times and better access to health care. Above all, the reduction in the number of deaths from cancer and coronary heart disease show the difference which can be made by employing expert clinical staff. Nursing care is at the forefront of this, as working to prevent health problems and helping to manage long term conditions can ultimately save money for patients."
Read the King's Fund press release: Protecting NHS spending from 2011 likely to require large cuts to other department budgets or tax rises, say The King's Fund and IFS.