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The Autumn Budget 2017: joint statement on health and social care

Since 2015, our three organisations have come together around major fiscal events to assess the state of health and social care funding. Our aim in doing so is to inform the debate with a clear, authoritative and independent analysis of the funding position and its implications for health and care services. Ahead of the Autumn Budget on 22 November, we have updated our analysis in light of the government’s current spending plans and to reflect recent developments.

The last government changed its definition of NHS spending from the totality of the Department of Health’s budget to NHS England’s budget only. The Conservative Party also used this definition as the basis for the spending commitments outlined in its election manifesto. This is a significant change, which excludes important areas of NHS spending that are not in NHS England’s budget such as major capital investment, public health, and education and training. Our three organisations continue to rely on the previous definition of NHS spending – ie, the totality of the Department of Health budget – and have used this as the basis for the analysis in this statement. This approach has been relied on by previous governments and has been endorsed by the Health Committee. The government’s narrower presentation of health funding has also been criticised by the Committee and the UK Statistics Authority.

Nuffield Trust, The Health Foundation and The King's Fund