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20
Oct

NHS budget increased under Spending Review


The government has announced that, as part of the Spending Review results which were released today, the NHS will receive an increase in funding. Over the course of this parliament, the NHS budget in England is to rise by £10bn, from £104bn to £114bn in 2014-15, which equates to a 0.1% above inflation rise each year.

 

[quote top=Announcing the plans, chancellor George Osborne said:]The NHS is an intrinsic part of the fabric of our country. It is the embodiment of a fair society. To govern is to choose and we have chosen the NHS. That does not mean we are letting the health department off the need to drive forward real reform and savings from waste and inefficiency.[/quote]


[quote top=Health secretary Andrew Lansley added:]The Spending Review reinforces our historic commitment to protect health spending and means that funding for the NHS will increase in real terms in every year of this parliament. Due to the deficit and the increasing demands on NHS and care services, we have had to make difficult decisions about where this money is spent and we have to make every penny count.


That is why we have chosen to invest in supporting social care and reablement, honouring our commitment to protect the most vulnerable in our society. Ultimately a better integrated health and care system will mean a more efficient system that delivers savings in the longer term, as more people live independently and are discharged from hospitals sooner.[/quote]


Lansley did, however, warn NHS staff that the onus on finding new ways to work more efficiently would remain. “NHS organisations have already started a wide-ranging efficiency drive to make savings that can be redirected into patient care,” he said, “and we also want to see a 33% real terms cut in the administration budget, saving around £1.9bn.


“But that is not enough. The NHS budget will have to stretch further than ever before in these difficult times, and so reform isn't an option, it's a necessity in order to sustain and improve our NHS.”


Unison general secretary Dave Prentis attacked the plans, saying that the increases aren’t enough. "The NHS is not safe,” he said. “Some hospitals are already cutting back on vital life-improving operations such as cataract, hip and knee replacements. The NHS needs extra funding just to stand still. It will not be able to keep up."


The rest of the UK will make its plans with regards to health spending later in the year.

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