Government confirms £8bn for NHS in budget
Source: Nathan King / Alamy
The UK chancellor George Osborne has confirmed that the NHS in England will receive £8bn in funding in his post-election budget, which was announced on 8 July 2015.
The money had already been promised in the Conservative Party’s 2015 election manifesto and will be in addition to the £2bn the government announced in the Autumn Statement in 2014. “That’s £10bn more a year in real terms by 2020,” Osborne said.
The government says it wants to fully fund the NHS plan (‘Five year forward view’), which called for £8bn more by 2020–2021.
“This additional investment will support the NHS in England to go further than its plan and to deliver a step change in safety, quality and access,” according to HM Treasury.
The government wants to ensure the NHS becomes a seven-day service by 2020–2021. “Hospitals will be appropriately staffed at weekends to ensure people can obtain the care they need every day of the week. Everyone will be able to access GP services from 8am–8pm seven days a week,” it adds.
The budget has also brought in caps over public sector pay, setting pay awards of 1% for four years from 2016–2017 onwards, to save some £5bn by 2019–2020.
The NHS Confederation, which represents NHS providers and commissioners, says the additional funding will need to account for investment in transformation and other costs that will be needed to move to new models of care. “What cannot be forgotten though is the impact that social care cuts are having on the NHS,” it adds.
Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20068933
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