NHS funding: Budget 2018

Thank you to everyone who has contacted me funding for the NHS.

As I am sure you are aware, the Prime Minister announced earlier this year that the Government will be providing the NHS with an additional £20.5 billion by 2023/24. I hope you would agree it reflects the Government’s commitment to properly funding our NHS.

Our NHS is a vital public service, providing healthcare to who needs it, free at the point of use, regardless of background or income. Demand for the NHS only continues to rise which the government must accommodate by ensuring its financial stability, yet we must also recognise the realities of what overspending can cause to a country therefore ensuring the country continues to live within its means.

Without a doubt, the government has had to make some difficult decisions regarding funding to public services since 2010, all of which have successfully sought to reduce the budget deficit. The economic crisis of 2008 coupled with profligate government spending resulted in the deficit escalating to 10% of GDP, it is now less than 2%.

Despite the financial pressures within the public sector the £20.5 billion increase will include an added £2 billion for mental health, which, as the former shadow minister for mental health, I welcome and is issue I take a great deal of interest in. I also welcome the £650 million for local councils to help fund adult social care and its commitment to publishing a green paper to work on a long-term settlement for adult social care.

The Health Secretary has made prevention and public health a priority because he understands that you can reduce the pressure on hospitals by helping and encouraging people to remain healthier for longer in their own homes. This puts the government on the correct trajectory as the nation can start to increase funding to public services, allow taxpayers to keep more of their money, whilst simultaneously ensuring that we have the financial capacity to provide a sustainable and more efficient National Health Service.

This funding is the first step in ensuring we deliver an NHS that is fit for the 21st century and one that is not merely a national illness service but a national health service. To understand more about the Health Secretary’s plans then visit:https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/prevention-is-better-than-cure-matt-hancocks-speech-to-ianphi

Alongside this, the NHS is expected to come up with a ten-year plan to demonstrate how it will continue to increase productivity, offer world-class services, and improve patient care, which is so important in a taxpayer funded healthcare system. This will be further supported by a £10 billion programme of capital investment, to help the NHS build world-class infrastructure, as well as additional support for social care services.

I welcome the Government’s recent announcement on how to harness the power and potential of modern and future technologies that are used to great effect elsewhere to deliver a better quality and standard of healthcare within the NHS, as well as providing much needed support to the fantastic staff within the NHS, who do such important work looking after patients under immense pressure. You can read more about the government’s plans here:https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-future-of-healthcare-our-vision-for-digital-data-and-technology-in-health-and-care/the-future-of-healthcare-our-vision-for-digital-data-and-technology-in-health-and-care  
 
The recent Budget sets out the precise details of how the Government can fully fund this investment and ensures that the NHS is financially sustainable in the long run. It is essential that our public services are supported by a strong and healthy economy, and I have every faith that the Government will foster the growth and economic dynamism the NHS needs to thrive.

If you would like to listen to more of my views on NHS funding or generally about the latest Budget then please watch this video from my website: https://www.timloughton.com/news/budget-2018