We have just about the best health service in the world - free at the point of use and serving us from the cradle to the grave. But even the best services sometimes need additional help, sometimes need maintenance. We are living longer. There are new treatments and technologies available. This is all good news from which many will benefit. But it does not come for free.
This is why the Prime Minister has announced a massive new funding settlement for the NHS. By 2023/24 the NHS England budget will increase by £20.5 billion in real terms compared with today. That means it will be £394 million a week higher in real terms.
Health funding has not been consistent over the last seventy years and I am pleased the Prime Minister recognises this. Her promise that NHS funding will grow on average by 3.4 per cent in real terms each year from 2019/20 to 2023/24, with an additional £1.25 billion each year to cover a specific pensions pressure, will help with planning and the continuing care of a growing and ever-demanding population.
Some of this funding will come from using the money we will no longer spend on our annual membership subscription to the European Union after we have left. More will come from a further contribution from taxpayers, details of which will be set out by the Chancellor.
The NHS will have to work for this. The bureaucracy and delays which cause my constituents to turn to me in frustration will have to be tackled to ensure every penny of the additional funding is well spent.
There will be a forensic exploration of how this money will be used. I want people to be able to see their GPs more easily, much shorter waits for routine operations like knees, hips and shoulders, the best cancer care in the world and better services for the elderly (to name but a few). If there are priorities that matter to you, please let me know - I will be sure to feed your views into the conversation.
Similarly, if you are having trouble with local health services and you think I might be able to help don’t hesitate to get in touch. I assist a lot of constituents who are experiencing frustration with bureaucracy and will be happy to do the same for you.
Thanks to the Government’s careful planning, the future of our NHS is bright. You can read the Prime Minister’s full speech here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-speech-on-the-nhs-18-june-2018