Budget promises nearly £3bn for NHS in England

NewsPoliticsBrexit guzzles Budget money as NHS left out in the cold Jack Peat

NewsPoliticsBrexit guzzles Budget money as NHS left out in the cold Jack Peat

Acknowledging the pressure that the NHS is now under, Hammond also revealed that an additional commitment of resource funding of £2.8bn will be directed to the NHS in England over the next three years, £350m of which will be made available immediately to allow trusts to plan for this winter.

This will be broken down into £350m this year, which will be available immediately "to help NHS trusts plan for winter", £1.6bn for 2018/19, and the rest in 2019/20.

Hammond left NHS staff in the dark about how much they will see their pay go up by next year, despite having lifted the 1% pay cap.

The £2.8bn funding will be on top of a £9bn ($12bn) increase already planned to the NHS budget from the Conservative government's original spending plans for 2015 to 2020.

Autumn Budget 2017: Chancellor ups spending on NHS England by £2.8bn until 2020

"This means the NHS will need to think differently about pharmacy to make the most of all the resources in the system", he said.

Meanwhile, Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said patients had been let down by a budget that won't fix the NHS's "deep and severe problems".

Mr Hammond said the nation's nurses "deserve our deepest gratitude" and that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt was now negotiating changes to NHS pay scales so any wage increase would be recommended in "due course".

The government will make a capital investment of an additional £10bn over the course of this parliament to support Sustainability and Transformation plans (STPs), Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond, has announced in his Autumn budget.

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"I am therefore, exceptionally and outside the spending review process, making an additional commitment of resource funding of £2.8bn to the NHS in England".

In addition, Hammond promised £3.5bn ($4.7bn) for redesigning NHS services and turning around struggling NHS hospitals by 2022, taking the total new NHS funding promised in the budget to £6.3bn ($8.4bn).

Janet Davies, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said: "The Chancellor has clearly listened to the tens of thousands of nursing staff who've been campaigning for fair pay, and he was right to address their concerns".

Chief executive of NHS Employers, Danny Mortimer, said there was "a great deal to discuss", but the Mr Hammond's commitment was "welcome".

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"Their goodwill will not last indefinitely".

He will also provide £3.5bn between now and 2020, as part of a separate injection of £10bn the NHS is due to receive to undertake repairs, build new facilities and modernise patient care. "It was an opportunity missed", he said.

Sir Malcolm Grant, chairman of NHS England, said the money promised by the Chancellor "will go some way towards filling the widely accepted funding gap".

"However, we can no longer avoid the hard debate about what it is possible to deliver for patients with the money available", he added, saying NHS England will debate the issue at its board meeting next week. And it remains unclear if doctors will get a pay rise, too, or if that will be limited to nurses, midwives and other health personnel.

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"Instead, Tory ministers let down patients and their families today", he added.

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