Increased demand for health services during the recession means it is vital an NHS surplus of£1.7bn is ploughed back into frontline services, says the RCN.
Yesterday the Department of Health announced a predicted surplus of£1.735bn by the end of the current financial year, alongside its financial report for October-December 2008.
David Flory, the DoH’s NHS finance director, confirmed the Government’s commitment to use the surplus to improve patient care.
But Peter Carter, general secretary of the RCN, called for clarity on exactly how the surplus would be spent.
‘It is particularly important that NHS spending is sustained through the economic downturn, and that funding intended for healthcare does not get diverted. During the downturn, we know that health can suffer and the NHS must be fit to deal with this,’ he said.