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NHS funding

Boris Johnson announces £1.8bn funding boost for the NHS

The prime minister, Boris Johnson, has confirmed what he says is a one-off cash boost of £1.8bn for NHS frontline services England.

Of this, £850m will be shared by 20 hospitals to upgrade outdated facilities and equipment, Johnson said.

Announcing the funding on 5 August 2019, the prime minister also confirmed a £1bn increase to NHS capital spending to enable existing upgrade programmes to proceed as well as tackle the most urgent infrastructure projects. 

Ahead of the announcement, Johnson said in a statement: “I made it my immediate task to make sure frontline services have the funding they need, to make a real difference to the lives of NHS staff and, above all, of patients.” 

But analysts have warned that the money is only a fraction of the funding that the NHS needs.

Ben Gershlick, senior economist at the Health Foundation, said: “Given the scale of underinvestment in NHS buildings, equipment and technology in recent years, this level of funding will only scratch the surface and will not close the gap in healthcare capital spending between England and comparable countries.

“Even after this additional money, there remains a major risk to the quality of patient care posed by deteriorating facilities, out-of-date infrastructure and a shortage of equipment.”

The £1.8bn funding is in addition to the extra £20.5bn that the NHS is set to receive each year to 2023/2024, which will be spent through the ‘NHS Long Term Plan’ the government has said.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20206902

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