On the 15th January 2020 Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, introduced the NHS Long Term Plan Funding Bill to Parliament. An extra £33.9 billion per annum will be used to transform care in the NHS by 2024.
A legal duty will be placed on the Treasury as well as the Secretary of State to ensure the minimum level of NHS revenue funding will be upheld over the next 4 years. Local clinicians will not be limited by the bill when it comes to making decisions of where and how to spend the funding on local populations.
The NHS has been placed at the top of the agenda, and is one of the first cases of domestic legislation to go through parliament. The bill places a legal duty on the government so that there will be a guarantee that a minimum level if spending will be put into place, and that annual increases will be made rising to £148.5 billion by 2024.
Following the launch of the Long Term Plan in January 2019, an extra £6.2 billion has already been provided as this is the first stage of the annual funding increase.
In addition to the financial dedication by the government, £2.8 billion will be made available to build 40 new hospitals across the country. £850 million will be spent on urgent infrastructure projects and upgrading 20 hospitals. A further £450 million will be used to implement the latest in AI technology and new scanners.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I have heard loud and clear that the priority of the British people is the NHS.
“Guaranteeing frontline services the biggest cash boost in history is another huge step towards making sure this treasured institution has everything it needs to deliver world-class care.
“There can be no doubting our commitment to the NHS. Putting our record funding commitment into law shows that we will stop at nothing to deliver on the people’s priorities.”
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:
“During the election campaign, we committed to boosting funding for our NHS over the course of the Parliament and ensuring these new resources get to the frontline so that patients receive the care they need.
“Today we are making good on that manifesto commitment by introducing the NHS Funding Bill, demonstrating this government’s ironclad commitment to the NHS.
“With this unprecedented bill, we will enshrine in law the largest cash settlement in NHS history – bringing the total annual budget to almost £150 billion within 5 years.”
“This funding bill will empower the NHS and its world-class clinicians to deliver our bold plan for the NHS. They can do so safe in the knowledge this government is giving them the financial certainty and support to revolutionise prevention, detection, and treatment of thousands of patients over the coming decade.”
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, said:
“We are delivering on our promise to focus on the people’s priorities, with the NHS at the forefront. By enshrining the largest ever cash increase for the NHS in law, we will deliver a world-class health service that makes life in this country even better for people.”