Austerity end not in sight
Optical body FODO has stated it does not expect the increase in NHS spending confirmed in last week’s budget to filter through to optics.
FODO welcomed confirmation of 3.4% real-terms growth in spending until 2023/24, with funding for a new mental health crisis service including in A&E departments.
Its statement added: ‘This is a welcome increase but follows the long period of squeezed funding through austerity. It also has to be set against the traditional long-term NHS funding requirement of 3.7% in real terms to keep pace with demand and the lack of balancing investment in social care to help community discharges.
‘It is unlikely therefore that any of this money will find its way into GOS or enhanced services fees in England. It may be just enough to enable the NHS to limp on without genuine structural change, such as moving hospital care to the community, so either way is not good news for the community optical sector.’