Theresa May has announced a £20bn funding increase for the NHS over the next five years.
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, Ms May stated her intention to draw up a 10-year plan for the NHS, which will include “more doctors, more nurses” and “significantly more money going in to the NHS”.
During the interview Ms May said; “Some people may remember seeing a figure on the side of a bus a while back of £350m a week in cash”
“I can tell you that what I’m announcing will mean that in 2023-24 there will be about £600m a week, more in cash, going into the NHS.
“That will be through the Brexit dividend. The fact that we’re no longer sending vast amount of money to the EU once we leave the EU and we as a country will be contributing a bit more.”
The announced comes only months after the NHS took the unprecedented decision to suspend all non-urgent activity in January.
‘A welcome birthday present’.
Janet Davies, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “Theresa May and Jeremy Hunt are to be congratulated on securing this increase, which is a great deal more than some of the sums being talked about earlier this year. The extra money should enable trusts to invest more in staff and therefore reverse some of the cuts in patient care nurses are reporting to us.
“The extra funding is a welcome birthday present for the NHS, but we need to make sure there are enough candles on the cake. Health economists are saying that only an increase above 4% would have been enough to genuinely transform the NHS into the 21st century service all nurses want. If the PM only gives the health service enough money to jog on the spot, she must not expect great strides forward.”
The Prime Minister has promised that by 2023 an extra £20 billion a year will be available for the NHS in England on top of any rises to keep up with inflation. However, the RCN insists more focus needs to be given to support vulnerable people in the community.
“The Government’s social care cuts have piled pressure onto hospitals,” added Janet. “Investing in home care and local community services helps stop hospitals becoming overwhelmed. Theresa May must be under no illusion that there can be a long-term solution for the NHS without a solution for social care too.”
‘We must invest this money wisely’.
Jim Mackey, the former head of NHS Improvement, said; “This settlement is good news for the NHS but we must invest this money wisely and ensure as much as possible impacts positively on frontline patient care.
“Whilst it is clear that many commentators believe the money isn’t enough, I think we need to recognise that it is a huge investment by any standards, especially given where the country is with regards to the wider economy. This is hard fought and we need to give credit where due for securing this investment.
“What is key now is to ensure that the full engagement with the service, patients and staff, starts immediately to work through what we can deliver with this money. We will all want to see improvements countrywide in key access standards, financial stability, better winters than previous years, improvements in cancer, primary care and mental health and, importantly, patient and staff satisfaction. With this investment comes the responsibility to deliver this – without fail.
“We all know that the NHS delivers more, pound for pound than any other health system and I am sure we will continue to do that”.