When users enter their postcode, the NHS Health Check provides information on whether there is sufficient provision to meet local need for GPs, healthcare staff and hospital beds – and if not, how big the shortfall is.
The TUC and NHS Support Federation are encouraging people to use the information provided by the tool to campaign locally in the North East for the extra provision needed for a world class health service in their community.
The launch of NHS Health Check follows last week’s government announcement of additional funding for the NHS, and the commitment to a ‘world class’ NHS in a speech by the Prime Minister.
Health economists at the IFS and Health Foundation estimate that the Department of Health would need 4% extra per year to keep the NHS running at current service levels. But if the NHS is to reach the ‘world class’ standard promised by the Prime Minister in future years, then the annual funding increase will need to be 5%.
The government has committed to giving the NHS around £20bn more a year extra by 2023 – an increase to the Department of Health budget of around 3%. This leaves a funding gap of at least £8bn just to maintain current levels of service. And it leaves a gap of £16bn to meet the funding requirements for a ‘world class’ health service.
Our NHS 70 rally
Unions and campaigners are joining together in London on 30 June for Our NHS is 70, a march and rally to celebrate the 70th birthday of the NHS and to call on government to keep the NHS publicly owned and properly funded.
TUC Regional Secretary for the North East Beth Farhat said:
“Budget restrictions have left the NHS on the critical list. Services in the North East are stretched, and it puts our hardworking NHS staff under great stress.
“The best medicine for the NHS is the extra funding it needs. But the government is giving it too small a dose to bring it up to full health.
“We all need to raise our voices to support NHS services in the North East, and this tool will help us. You can use the information it provides to write to your MP, phone a radio station or spread the message on social media. Let’s celebrate the 70th birthday of the NHS by getting it the proper funding it needs, along with fair pay to attract and keep high quality NHS staff.”