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NHS set to receive funding boost

written by

Leukaemia Care, Charity

  • nurses

Chancellor George Osborne announced yesterday in his autumn statement that the NHS will receive an extra £2bn in funding in 2015. At a time where cuts continue, an increase in NHS backing demonstrates the importance being placed on the NHS from a political point of view. This announcement has been described by the chancellor as a “down payment” on the NHS’s own long term plans, with increased capital of £8bn per year by 2020. Osborne also announced that a one-off £1.1bn would also be spent over the next four years modernising GP surgeries.

This funding has been provided in response to warnings from NHS bosses that there was a shortfall in their budgets, which needed to be urgently rectified or patients would suffer, with rising waiting times and decreasing quality of care. Health services are struggling with unprecedented pressures on budgets at the same time as rising demand for services, largely as a result of an ageing population. The NHS has just missed a series of targets, including cancer 62 day treatment targets which have been missed for the last nine months.

It is understood that of this £2bn NHS England will receive approximately £1.7bn, with the remainder going to devolved administrations, if they wish to spend it on extra health resources. But whilst the frontline services are set to receive a funding boost, there have been criticisms that the government is just “recycling” funds that were already allocated to the department of health. The chancellor claims that most of these funds have actually been freed up as a result of cuts in other departments.

There have also been criticisms that this is merely a crisis payment over current issues, rather than a long term investment to improve the NHS. It is clear that however welcome this £2bn is, something further will be required to meet the rising demands on the service in the future.

Monica Izmajlowicz, Leukaemia CARE Chief Executive, said: “This investment in the NHS will help maintain the quality of frontline NHS services in the short term. It is important that this funding is followed up with long-term investment in our health services, to ensure that we do not fall further behind our European counterparts in key health areas, such as cancer survival.”