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The NHS England budget will increase by more than £20bn by 2024, Prime Minister Theresa May has announced.
Speaking at the Royal Free Hospital in London today – a speech broadcast live by The Guardian –Prime Minister Theresa May revealed that the NHS budget will increase by £20.5bn in real terms, compared with today, by 2023/24.
Her announcement comes as the NHS turns 70 on 5 July.
Ms May said: ‘It’s clear that more money is needed to keep pace with the pressures on the NHS but it’s not just a question of more money this year or next.
‘Over the last 70 years, increases and funding have often been inconsistent and shorter, creating uncertainty about what the funding position would be in this little as two-years time.
‘We cannot continue to put a sticking plaster on the NHS budget each year so we would do more than simply give the NHS a one-off injection of cash.
‘Under our plan, NHS funding will grow on average 3.4% in real terms each year from 2019 to 2023/24.
‘[…] That means it will be £394m a week higher in real terms. The NHS budget will be significantly higher than the economy as a whole, reflecting the fact that the NHS is this Government’s number one spending priority.’
Ms May’s top priorities for the NHS are:
– Putting the patient at the heart of how we organise care
– A workforce empowered to deliver the NHS of the future
– Harnessing the power of innovation
– A focus on prevention, not just cure
– True parity of care between mental and physical health
Forthcoming 10-year plan
Ms May also announced that the Government will agree a 10-year plan for the health service’s future later this year.
She added: ‘We also know we need to improve social care and continue to support prevention and public health, both for the benefits they bring in themselves and to relieve pressure on NHS care.
‘So we will come forward with proposals to put social care on a more sustainable footing. We will set out the budget for both social care and public health as part of the forthcoming spending review.’