As the NHS turns 70, hospital staff are holding a cake sale to buy drip stands

Cupcakes and NHS logo
Support us and go ad-free

As the NHS turns 70 years old, hospital staff in Derby are holding a cake sale and “24 hour swingballathon” – so that every patient on their ward can have their own drip stand.

On 11 June, Derby Hospitals NHS tweeted:

Their tweet sparked quite a response:

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

Funding increase “far below long-term average”

It’s no wonder that hospitals are having to fundraise for basic equipment. The Kings Fund says:

The Department of Health budget will grow by 1.2 per cent in real terms between 2009/10 and 2020/21. This is far below the long-term average increases in health spending of approximately 4 per cent a year (above inflation) since the NHS was established.

It goes on to note that the funding increase is also far below “the rate of increase needed based on projections by the Office of Budget Responsibility (4.3 per cent a year)”.

And you shouldn’t just take their word for it. Even Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg admits that funding is at a historic low:

Extra money may lead to cuts in spending per patient

Chancellor Philip Hammond announced in November 2017 that the NHS would get a £1.6bn funding boost in 2018/19. However, independent health thinktank the Nuffield Trust says of this ‘extra’ money:

What then of the Chancellor’s extra £1.6 billion? How much of that will translate into additional spending? The answer is that much of it will not. At least not in the sense that most people understand extra spending, which (reasonably enough) is as buying extra stuff: extra patient care, extra quality, extra doctors and nurses, extra drugs. In fact, in many cases it will be used to effectively cut, rather than increase, NHS spending in real terms per patient.

That’s because £1bn of the ‘extra’ money will go into funds which NHS providers can only access if they meet a Treasury-agreed financial “control total”. To do that, they have to either reduce their deficit, or increase their surplus – in other words, spend less. As the Nuffield Trust says:

There is ultimately only one way a provider can consistently do that, and that is by reducing the average costs of caring for each patient it treats down towards the level funded in the tariff (or below it, in the case of providers who are set a target to report an underlying surplus).

For trusts this year, that will mean real-term cuts to their spending per patient of 4.2%.

Extra money trusts can’t spend

But in an Alice in Wonderland twist, even if providers reduce their spending, and receive some of the money, they can’t spend it – because to do so would mean they would breach their “control total”.

When then-health secretary Aneurin ‘Nye’ Bevan launched the NHS on 5 July 1948, he probably didn’t think that hospital staff would have to fundraise to pay for basic equipment 70 years later. But with 83% of acute hospital trusts now in deficit, hospital staff may be baking a lot more cakes and playing a lot more swingball in the future.

Get Involved!

– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.

– Read and support other independent media outlets:

Media DiversifiedNovara MediaCorporate WatchRed PepperNew InternationalistCommon SpaceMedia LensBella CaledoniaVox PoliticalEvolve PoliticsReal MediaReel NewsSTRIKE! magazineThe Bristol CableThe Meteor, The SkwawkboxSalford StarThe Ferret.

Featured image via pixabay/wikimedia commons

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed