Responding to the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review, Dr Mark Porter, Chair of the BMA Council, said:
“Although the NHS budget in England has been protected this does not allow for keeping pace with new treatments, an ageing population and rising demand. All too often short term cuts are being made to meet soaring financial pressures often without the involvement of clinicians. Only by putting resources in the right place and working with doctors can the Government strive to meet the challenges the NHS faces.
“We support the Government’s commitment to the care of older people and we hope that the allocated funding is indeed used to genuinely meet the needs of patients and help alleviate the current pressures on emergency departments. However, we are concerned that the Chancellor’s decision to cut the local government budget by 10 per cent will seriously undermine the Government’s commitment to vulnerable people because of the impact on social care, and wider public health needs.
“We welcome the Government’s decision not to transfer funds for medical training and research from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, taking on board the concerns we raised that such a move would disturb the highly successful integrated arrangements which currently ensure a world class medical profession.”
“We will need to see further detail regarding the Government’s intentions but for many doctors pay progression is already based on satisfactory completion of their duties and other criteria. There are currently exploratory talks taking place on junior doctor and consultants contracts and they will need to consider any potential changes.”