Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, has unveiled the NHS Long Term Plan Funding Bill to Parliament.
The bill will enshrine in law an extra £33.9billion every year by 2024 for the NHS to transform care.
And it will include a ‘double-lock’ commitment that places a legal duty on both the Secretary of State and the Treasury to uphold this minimum level of NHS revenue funding over the next four years.
With this unprecedented bill, we will enshrine in law the largest cash settlement in NHS history – bringing the total annual budget to almost £150billion within five years
The bill will not seek to limit the NHS in deciding how funding is spent and where – a decision that is made by local clinicians for their local populations.
It will be one of the first pieces of domestic legislation to go through Parliament since the new Government took office, placing the NHS top of the domestic agenda.
And it will place a legal duty on the Government to guarantee a minimum level of spending every year, rising to £148.5billion by 2024.
In the first stage of this annual funding increase, the Government has already provided an extra £6.2billion since April 2019, following the launch of the NHS Long Term Plan in January 2019.
The bill provides safeguards that mean the Treasury will be required to ensure the annual supply estimates for the department’s NHS budget cannot be reduced, creating a legal exception that protects frontline NHS funding for the first time.
This comes on top of recent pledges:
- To build 40 new hospitals up and down the country, backed by £2.8billion
- An extra £1.8billion for capital spending, including £850m for 20 hospital upgrades and urgent infrastructure projects
- £450m for new scanners and the latest in AI technology
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.”
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
Hancock added: “With this unprecedented bill, we will enshrine in law the largest cash settlement in NHS history – bringing the total annual budget to almost £150billion within five years.
“This funding bill will empower the NHS and its world-class clinicians to deliver our bold plan for the NHS.
“And 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.”