Cookie policy notice

By continuing to use this site you agree to our cookies policy below:
Since 26 May 2011, the law now states that cookies on websites can ony be used with your specific consent. Cookies allow us to ensure that you enjoy the best browsing experience.

This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Jeremy Hunt: Government 'does not get fair credit' for NHS investment

The Government is not getting the recognition it deserves for the amount of money it is investing in the NHS, health secetary Jeremy Hunt has said.

Addressing the annual King's Fund Conference this morning, Mr Hunt said the Government had made very significant increases in NHS funding at a time when money was 'very, very short'.

His comments come as the House of Commons Health Committee has criticised the Government for 'misleading' the public over NHS finances.

But Mr Hunt said: 'I’ll be very upfront with you – I don’t think that the Government gets fair credit for the priority that we have given for NHS finance.

'We have to operate within the economic context of the country. NHS funding comes from the tax revenues in the economy.'

He said the country continues to 'have very severe economic challenges' but despite this 'this Government's per capita real spending on NHS has gone up by 10% over the last six years'.

He added: 'That is a significant increase at a time when money has been very, very short.'

But he did admit that 'of course it doesn’t feel like that on the front line, because at the same time as that increase we have had a very, very significant increase in demand and we’re looking after a million more over 75s than we were five years ago'.

House of Commons Health Committee chair Dr Sarah Wollaston has asked the Government to stop 'pretending the NHS is awash with cash'.

The committee's calculations, based on traditional accounting standards and the Spending Review period, concluded the NHS investment is more like £4.5bn than the £10bn the Government is claiming to be adding to the annual NHS budget by 2020/21.

Mr Hunt also defended missed NHS waiting times targets in his address, saying that 'we need to understand that we have been doing a lot better on access than we are being given credit for'.

He said: 'If you look at mental health for example, 1,400 more people are accessing mental health services every day compared to six years ago.

'If you look at A&E – 2,500 more people are being seen in A&E departments within the four hours every single day compared to six years ago.

'[There are] 4,400 more operations everyday compared to six years ago.

'In cancer care we are doing 16,000 more diagnostic tests everyday, 130 more people are starting treatment for cancer everyday.

'And by any account that is a massive expansion in access to healthcare even if some of the access targets are not being met.'

Readers' comments (18)

  • Mr Mephisto

    Dear Jeremy, even your own Commons Health Committee Tory Chairwoman (Sarah Wollaston) thinks that you being untruthful about your investment in the health service. No one believes you anymore - I don't think that this should comes as a surprise - you are a politician after all - telling porkies is a large part of the job in modern day politics - do the decent thing and resign like your mate David Cameron - what a great political legacy he left behind - your career will be remembered as ignominiously as his - a small insignificant stain in the great fabric of history

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • LOL. He is a card

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • "I don’t think that the Government gets fair credit for the priority that we have given for NHS finance."

    Aah, poor chap. Feeling unappreciated is he? Perhaps if the Govt were to invest taxpayers' money where clinically needed instead of wasting it on political vanity projects and agendas, the results would be clear and appreciation would follow.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This comment has been removed by the moderator.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I actually agree with Hunt??
    Of course front line GP is under huge demand pressure and money is short, recruitment a disaster and all the rest.
    So why not change the law and stop lawyers profiting from NHS litigation. We would be less afraid to do our best?
    I think that is a Win-Win in difficult times.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • "NHS funding comes from the tax revenues in the economy" Simon Stevens said if the economy sneezes the NHS catches a cold! We need to change the business model because it is unsustainable with the coffin of demographics showing a bulge of over 65's (not paying much tax) and not enough taxpayers left to fund the whole health and care system. There needs to be a local health and care tax to fund what each area requires and that would very soon focus the minds of the taxpayers and local politicians. The blame game of who is meant to pay for what and what is free and what is means tested has to stop! Winter is upon us all soon and we have to spend the public pound wisely!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • off you go and work for Trump, right up your street

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Jezza.

    We all stopped listening to you and your bull a long time ago.

    I only hope, probably forlornly, you're around long enough to reap what chaos you sow.

    Get knotted and leave us alone.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Vinci Ho

    You see
    If I was Auntie May , I would kiss Agent Hunt day and night for being such a good body guard.
    A burglar broke into my house and was caught the next day . He told me,' it could be worse ,mate ,give me some credit for leaving some of your stuff alone!'
    You only derseve the 'credit' if you were honest , honest about the government really cannot afford 7 days NHS and GP access.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Fair ? Fair ?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This comment has been moderated.

View results 10 results per page20 results per page

Have your say

IMPORTANT: On Wednesday 7 December 2016, we implemented a new log in system, and if you have not updated your details you may experience difficulties logging in. Update your details here. Only GMC-registered doctors are able to comment on this site.