NHSA response to Spring Budget 2024

Chief Executive Officer Dr Seamus O'Neill comments on the recently announced Spring budget

8th March 2024

Dr Séamus O’Neill, Chief Executive of the Northern Health Science Alliance, said: “There were some positive announcements as part of the Chancellor’s Spring Budget this week. We welcome the targeted funding for the NHS to increase productivity, with a particular focus on technology and data. As our Connected Health Cities programme showed, joining up health data across regions and using it in a safe and secure way has the potential to transform health services, ultimately improving patient care, freeing up NHS staff time and saving money.  

“It was also encouraging to see the North’s health life sciences excellence recognised by industry with the announcement of the £450m investment from AstraZeneca to build a vaccine manufacturing hub in Liverpool. In addition, the North East ‘Trailblazer’ Devolution Deal includes £10m funding to accelerate the development of Newcastle University’s Health Innovation Neighbourhood. This recognition is a much-needed boost for the North and shows that we have what it takes to compete globally when it comes to health research. 

“However, the positives were tinged with disappointment following the announcement of investment in Cambridge and London which was justified under levelling up. It seems that the rhetoric and policy of ‘levelling up’ continues to be subverted to reinforce rather than address the huge inequalities in public sector funding between the Greater South East and the rest of the country. This pattern is replicated in other sectors too, with transport being another clear and impactful example.  

“The NHSA will continue to advocate on behalf of the North’s health and life sciences sectors and push for the change that is so greatly needed to ensure fair and proportionate investment in our regions.”  


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