There are many theories being thrown around as to how the NHS could improve the quality and safety of its care. What there is not is an abundance of money, and this is where most proposals fall down. Doctors and patients alike are poised to embrace change for the better, but nobody knows when this will be or how this investment is going to be funded.
Two independent think tanks have proposed the need for a “transformation fund” that will allow the NHS to implement the changes needed to put the service back on track.
Health Foundation and the King’s Fund suggest an additional budget of £1.5 billion a year, on top of the £8 billion proposed by the Government by 2020, for the sole purpose of facilitating the changes required in the NHS to maintain safety and quality.
Just some examples of how the fund will be used include efficiency savings and cost control measures and affording staff time away from the usual roles in order to undergo training.
Anita Charlesworth, Chief Economist at the Health Foundation, said “Without more resources specifically for transformation, the NHS will be unable to become more productive and the bill for additional running costs will only get larger … the transformation fund should become a fundamental part of the DNA of the health service from here onwards”.
The Institute of Public Policy Research has also released similar proposals, but insists that this type of fund must be administered by politically neutral health experts, presumably to ensure that allocation of the fund is driven purely by patient need as opposed to any political agenda.