Can the NHS manage on modest Budget cash boost?
Chancellor Phillip Hammond’s first autumn Budget has promised the NHS is to get £2.8bn extra by 2020.
This is made up of an immediate cash injection of £350m to help combat winter pressures; £1.6bn made available for 2018/19; and £850m available in 2019/20.
Mr Hammond also announced £3.5bn of new capital funding for the NHS in England, allocated as follows:
- £2.6bn for sustainability and transformation partnerships to deliver transformation schemes
- £700m to support turnaround plans in trusts facing the biggest performance challenges
- £200m to support efficiency programmes
The government has also pledged to fund an NHS pay rise.
NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopson dubbed the news as ‘less than the NHS needed but more than was expected’. In the run-up to the Budget, the King’s Fund, Health Foundation and Nuffield Trust think-tanks jointly called for more than double the funding announced. NHS England boss Simon Stevens also called for more money.
Other commentators have said the money to tackle winter pressures may have come too late for this year.
Gov.uk: Autumn Budget
Health Foundation: Health Foundation response to Budget 2017
King’s Fund: The King’s Fund responds to the 2017 autumn Budget
NHS Confederation: Autumn Budget ‘another missed opportunity’
Nuffield Trust: Nuffield Trust response to the autumn Budget 2017