Prime Minister, Theresa May, has pledged an extra £20 billion a year for the NHS by 2023 – 2024, equating to an additional £394 million per week.
“It’s the 70th anniversary of the NHS. And it’s our job to make sure that it thrives for the next 70 years – and beyond," the Prime Minister said. “That’s why we’ve got a long-term plan to support it. We’ll be giving the NHS an extra £20.5 bn a year by 2023-24. Cutting waste. Helping to improve survival rates for cancer patients. And delivering better mental health services.
“All of us, whatever our income, deserve access to world-class healthcare. Not just now – but for generations to come. And our investment in the NHS will make that possible.”
According to the Prime Minister, funding will come from two sources – the money currently being sent to the EU and tax increases, noting: “… as a country taxpayers will have to contribute a bit more for the NHS in a fair and balanced way.”
The planned 3.4% real-terms annual rise is less than the 4% increase called for by the chief executives of The King’s Fund, Nuffield Trust and the Health Foundation. Chris Ham, chief executive of The King’s Fund, Nigel Edwards, chief executive of The Nuffield Trust and Jennifer Dixon, chief executive of The Health Foundation, stated: “All authoritative independent analysis undertaken in recent years, including estimates based on the Office for Budget Responsibility’s projections, indicate that the NHS needs real terms funding increases of around 4 per cent a year.
“This is the minimum required to keep pace with rising demand for services, provide some investment in key priorities such as mental health, cancer and general practice and continue the transformation of services set out in the NHS five year forward view. Anything less than this risks further deterioration in standards of patient care and would delay tackling the growing backlog of buildings maintenance, including safety critical repairs. If sufficient funding is not provided, patients and families will pay the price as the service declines.”