Budget boost for the NHS, but is it enough?
The 2017 Autumn budget saw an additional £2.8bn given to the NHS between now and 2020, with £350m being made available immediately. This will mean the NHS budget has increased to £126bn from the originally planned £124.4bn for the period 2018/19.
This amount falls short of the extra £4bn that was required for 2018/19 alone, with NHS England warning that any increase short of £4bn next year would cause problems.
Traditionally the health budget has received an extra 4% a year above inflation to help the NHS cope with the ageing population and cost of new drugs and treatments.
Since 2010, however, that figure has dropped to close to 1% – and this extra money does little to improve that.
Those working in accident and emergency units point out that the £350m for this winter could easily be swallowed up by spending on agency staff alone.
Even with this increase announced eyebrows were raised when the chancellor stated £3bn would be set aside for preparing for Brexit compared to the £2.8bn being given to the NHS. This leaves many people asking where the extra £350m a week has gone that was promised by the leave campaign during the In Out Referendum?
Kings Fund, Sky News, BBC News, The Guardian, The Independent, gov.uk