NHS to get £20bn a year “birthday present”

NHS funding increase announced

Prime Minister Theresa May has announced an extra £20 billion a year in funding for NHS England, calling it a “birthday present” for the health service.

The announcement means that the NHS’ current budget of £114 billion a year will increase by 3.4% a year from 2019, to an extra £20bn a year by 2024 in real terms funding.

In addition, more money will also be available for services in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Mrs May said that NHS England will get an extra £600m a week in cash. This will however equate to an increase of £384m a week after inflation is taken into account.

The deal is less than the historical average of 3.7% since the NHS was formed in 1948.

The ABPI’s chief executive Mike Thompson called the funding announcement “very much welcome”.

He said: “The multi-year settlement will enable partners to work together and focus on improving services, delivering better health outcomes and ensuring greater access to the best treatments and technologies for all NHS patients.”

However, Sally Copley, Director of Policy, Campaigns and Partnerships at Alzheimer’s Society, responded with caution: “We welcome the announcement of more money for the NHS. But when it comes to social care, it’s a sticking plaster on a gaping wound.

“With the Health and Social Care Green Paper just around the corner, the Government must ensure that funding and adequate reform for social care is top of their to-do list.”