Here’s how the NHS’s Covid-stressed finances can be addressed 

After the emergency cash runs out, long-term funding demands a major remedy. “To start tackling elective waiting lists and extra mental health demand, the government has committed an extra one-off £1.5bn for 2021/22. This is a helpful start. The NHS will need to play its part as soon as coronavirus allows. It will have to make the NHS pound stretch further as we move towards greater collaboration between health and care envisaged in this week’s white paper……It makes little sense to allow the core budget to fall back over the next two financial years, only to build it back up again to existing 2023/24 commitments. Maintaining higher levels of spending over the next three years would not bake in a higher long-term funding increase, as that for 2023/24 would remain as planned”.

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