The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on population health, the NHS and social care. The government has provided £97bn of funding to help tackle the immediate pressures from the pandemic (over 2020/21 and 2021/22). But, as COVID-19 becomes an endemic disease, it is important that the Spending Review ensures continued funding to address the pandemic’s legacy and build resilience, through investment in the health and care system and beyond to support better population health.
In this submission, we highlight four key additional priorities for investment:
- the public health grant which supports interventions to tackle ill health upstream, where the evidence is that these interventions are highly cost-effective
- the capital budget and the workforce to ensure the NHS has the people and the facilities needed to meet the government’s priorities and to increase capacity so that services can manage demand more effectively and efficiently
- social care, where the core means-tested system needs funding to ensure that more people can access high-quality care, that providers are more sustainable, and the sector offers pay, terms and conditions that enable staff recruitment and retention.