On 5th July we will be celebrating the 70th birthday of the NHS. This anniversary is a time to reflect on the valuable service the NHS provides, but more than this, how its values unite us.
The Government is marking this occasion with a commitment to secure the future of NHS funding.
Under the plan, NHS funding will grow on average by 3.4 per cent in real terms (after inflation) each year for the next five years. By 2023/24 the NHS England budget will increase by £20.5 billion compared with today. That means it will be £394 million a week higher in real terms.
Simply put, the Government is able to increase NHS funding because it has managed the economy responsibly over the last eight years. It has adopted a balanced approach, ensuring debt falls, keeping taxes as low as possible, and investing in public services like the NHS. Some of the extra funding will come from using the money we will no longer spend on our annual membership to the European Union. But the commitment goes beyond that Brexit dividend, so across the nation, taxpayers will have to contribute a bit more in a fair and balanced way to support the NHS we all use.
The Prime Minister has rightly insisted that the NHS must make efficiency savings. A ten year plan will be made to ensure every penny is well spent, tackling waste and reducing bureaucracy, with savings invested back into patient care.
Finally, the NHS and social care are closely linked, and the Government has pledged to ensure pressures on the NHS do not rise because of changes to social care services. Last year the Government provided an extra £2 billion for social care. It will bring forward further proposals for social care reform later this year.
This Government is working to ensure that the NHS will be there for our children and grandchildren, just as it has been there for us in the past.