I believe fully in the NHS and its values. The Government is committed to a tax-funded NHS, free at the point of use, wherever and whenever you need it. As Ministers plan a new relationship with the EU, I know they will continue to ensure that the NHS is given the priority it deserves.
Despite tight public finances, the Government has actively supported the NHS’ own plan for the future. That is why it is providing the additional £10 billion of investment per annum in real terms by 2020/21 – compared to 2014/15. I know that £6 billion of this has been delivered upfront, by the end of 2016/17, which as the Chief Executive of NHS England has said, will ‘kick-start’ the transformation of provision. It will also ensure that by 2020, everyone will be able to access GP services at evenings and weekends.
At the recent Budget, additional capital funding was announced to support the NHS, with £325 million for local improvement plans and £100 million to improve A&E services.
On top of this, to secure the best value for taxpayers, tough new financial controls have been introduced to cut down on waste in the NHS, including introducing caps for agency staff and management consultants and introducing central procurement rules.
In recognition of the pressures facing social care in local areas, the Chancellor has announced a package of measures in the recent budget which go even further to help the health and care system. Local Authorities in England will receive an additional £2 billion for social care over the next three years. This will help to ease pressures on the NHS by supporting more people to be discharged from hospital and into care as soon as they are ready.