Did you catch Theresa May’s announcement of injecting £20 billion into the National Health Service over the weekend? How significantly do you think this is going to benefit the NHS?

What You Need To Know

Theresa May announced over the weekend that, in an attempt to cut cancer deaths and improve mental health services, £20 billion a year will be injected into the National Health Service by 2023/2024, paying for thousands more doctors and nurses. To celebrate the NHS’s 70th birthday next month, this will be its most significant funding boost since Gordon Brown increased the National Insurance to pay for more NHS spending back in 2002.

health spending by different govs graph
Source = The BBC

The Prime Minister has said the funding boost will be supported partly by a Brexit dividend but has also hinted at the possibility of a rise in tax. The potential ‘Brexit Dividend’ is essentially a reallocation of some of the £9 billion the UK pays into the EU budget and amounts to around £394 million extra a week in real terms for the NHS within six years. There is also said to be an additional £1.25 billion each year given to the NHS to cover specific pensions pressure. However, it has been said that because of the UK spending during Brexit negotiations, this dividend is unlikely to be available until 2022.

Last year figures showed that the NHS is currently wasting millions of pounds by not centralising procurement of daily items. Health and Social Care Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has said that the extra funding will be accompanied by a 10-year plan for the future of the NHS to tackle this waste and introduce doctor-led reforms to ensure the funding is well spent. The Prime Minister said in her speech on Monday evening that, with this increase in funding, she aims to “improve social care and continue to support prevention and public health, both for the benefits they bring in themselves and relieve pressure on NHS care.”

The fundamental aim of this boost in funding, along with the 10-year plan, is ultimately to improve mental health care, improve cancer survival rates and increase the number of doctors and nurses working in areas of high demand. There will also be more opportunities for flexible working hours and career development. For more information, you can read her whole speech in depth on the Nursing Times website.

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