NHS to receive £3.8 billion cash boost

The extra funding represents a four per cent increase on NHS England’s £101 billion front-line budget this year. The rise in spending is also part of a promise to give the NHS an extra £8 billion per year by 2020.

Health chiefs argued for a significant rise to help solve the NHS’ struggle to meet demand for services, while trusts are fighting to control spending as they already set to exceed a £2 billion deficit.

The plans for NHS spending spanning over the next five years, have been set out by Chancellor George Osborne, a day before the Spending Review announcement on 25 November.

By 2020-21, the total budget will be £119.6 billion, a rise of £8.4 billion after inflation is taken into account.  

However, reports have suggested that other public health budgets, managed by councils for services such as sexual health and stop smoking clinics, staff training budgets and student nurse bursaries are all expected to be cut.

Osborne claimed the rise in spending represents a huge ‘commitment’ to the NHS, particularly when accounting the £1.8 billion already provided to the NHS this year.

He said: “This will mean world-class treatment for millions more patients, deliver a truly seven-day health service and allow the NHS to implement its five-year plan to transform the services patients receive.”

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens was responsible for requesting the £8 billion sum in the election last year. Stevens maintained that receiving the sum as a sizeable increase rather than seeing it phased in gradually would help ‘stabilise current pressures’, initiating a fundamental redesign of care.

He said: "In the context of constraints on overall public spending, our case for the NHS has been heard and actively supported."

Anita Charlesworth, of the Health Foundation think tank, argued while the £3.8bn rise next year was welcome, there is still concerns about what is yet to be announced.

She said: ”Any move to redefine and shrink the definition of the NHS would be particularly worrying. If some of the new money comes from other parts of the health service - such as public health or training - it would be a false economy."

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