Headlines: March 21st, 2002

The Chancellor has given a clear indication that the forthcoming budget and public spending round will give the NHS the funding it needs to put it on a sustainable footing not just for a couple of years but for the long term.The comments came in a speech to the Social Market Foundation and have been welcomed by NHS professionals. The BMA welcomed what it says is recognition that the NHS needed ‘massive and sustained investment’. It says that investment is starting to pay dividends but those both patients and staff would still have to wait several years to see the results.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) acknowledges the speech’s call for a major investment to be matched by reform, but pointed out that keeping nurses was a bigger immediate problem than their working practices.

Gordon Brown was speaking at the Social Market Foundation on economic stability and stronger public services.

His speech also reviewed the work that has been commissioned on alternative funding options for the NHS, comparing the service with alternative means of health provision in countries like New Zealand and the USA.

For the speech in full visit www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/Newsroom_and_Speeches/Press/2002/press_25_02.cfm