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A faulty production line

Influential MPs say £10bn NHS investment figure is ‘incorrect’

The chair of the Health Select Committee has written to the Chancellor asking for ‘further capital resources’ for the NHS ahead of the Autumn Statement.

Following the committee’s inquiry into the state of NHS finances, Sarah Wollaston told Philip Hammond that the £10 billion figure quoted by the Government when discussing additional healthcare spending is ‘incorrect’.

Ms Wollaston said in the letter that the Department of Health’s budget will only increase by £6bn in that time as there have been £3.5bn cuts to the NHS elsewhere, such as the public health grant to local authorities, between 2014/15 and 2020/21.

The health committee chair said funding the NHS by cutting other healthcare budgets ‘puts at risk the achievement’ of NHS England’s Five Year Forward View, which looked to reshape the NHS by integrating primary and secondary care.

She added that Five Year Forward View is also at risk of failing without proper investment in NHS buildings.

She said: ‘That investment needs to be made now if the necessary longer-term saving are to be made. Yet the capital allocation for health – already declining in real terms over the spending review period – has been repeatedly raided to fund revenue overspends.’

During the inquiry, the committee heard from Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, who said that despite real-terms increases set out in the spending review, per capita NHS funding will remain the same in 2017/18 and decrease in 2018/19.

As a result, Ms Wollaston also uses the letter to ask the Government to review the NHS funding settlement for the middle years of the spending review and ‘commit to ensuring the to ensuring that the health service has the resources which it needs to meet the rising demands upon it’.

A Treasury spokesperson said: ’The Government has backed the NHS’ own plan for the future with a £10 billion real-terms increase in its annual funding by 2020/2021, helping to ease the pressures on hospitals, GPs, and mental health services. It is wrong to suggest otherwise.

’As the chief executive of NHS England said last year, the case for the NHS has been heard and actively supported.

’We have also allowed local government to increase social care spending in the years to 2020, with access to up to £3.5 billion of new support by then.’

Readers' comments (13)

  • I bet no one is surprised.

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  • After all, whay would the Government lie?

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  • Bet she is off Jeremys Christmas car list

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  • Yeah, bu give her credit. She has said what needed to be said at that level and that will have hurt. On the hand, that does mean she will not last long.

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  • Jmd

    It is no surprise, at last the government has been found out......there had been a drive to save 20billion and in return they say they will put in 8illion. This leaves a deficit of 12billion.
    This is the reality, it is a shame that no journalist had fought onto this before ,add the economist too, to this list!

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  • Peter Swinyard

    The elephant in the room of the 5 year forward view, itself quite an impressive system overview, is that it is predicated on £22bn of "efficiency savings" (cuts) which Simon Stevens has acknowledged has never been achieved in the NHS even when there was fat to cut. I think it is at the edge of credibility to find £22bn of efficiency savings. Problem is, it also relies on lots of work coming out in to the "community". However, funding is scarce to pump prime and to make this work. Hospitals will continue to be bailed out from their financial disasters and the chief execs will move on to the next job. GP practices are not being bailed out from their financial disasters and are being left to fail at an unacceptable cost to the livelihoods of devoted GPs and practice staff and the risk of GP bankruptcies.

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  • The business model is all wrong. You can't run a socialist ideology with capitalist business models. The public expect care free at the point of delivery but someone has to pay. The taxpayer funds the Government and hopes the Government spends it wisely and would pay more if it was guaranteed it would be spent on health. Costs only ever go up so trying to make efficiency savings when there is ever increasing demand is pointless. Accept how much it costs and agree what will be funded and be honest with the public.

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  • Vinci Ho

    Nick Triggle's angle(BBC health news):
    'Ministers like to make big play of the fact they've increased the budget by £10bn in England. Or is it £8bn (as NHS England boss Simon Stevens said this week), or £4.5bn (as MPs grilling Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt claimed)?
    All are right. In fact you could easily argue the budget has been cut. Let me explain why.'

    Click into this :

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  • Vinci Ho

    You see , as a politician , you really need to know how to play the game : stick to what you said even if you did not believe in it.
    Her conflicting stance of 'Leave' then 'Stay' during the referendum earned no credibility within and outside her party. At least , Auntie May did that in a clandestine fashion. Look at MojoBojo now when things were all uncovered.
    In fact , an article on NewStateman is rather defamatory and sentimental but not without arguments
    As I said in the past , leave this party if you still want to preserve a bit of halo left(if any) on top of your head....

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  • Well done Dr Wollaston- very impressive on the today programme radio 4. this morning. Measured, professional, in command of her facts - a credit to GP.

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