Chancellor George Osborne has officially confirmed extra funding for NHS frontline services during his Autumn Statement.
As reported during the last two weeks, Osborne has made an extra £2bn available to the health service for 2015. He explained that this will support the day-to-day work done by doctors and nurses.
Osborne indicated that the recovery in Britain’s economy has enabled him to make the extra funds available to the NHS. He described the funding as a ‘down-payment’ on the future of the health service. He announced that the £2bn per year over five years will come from a £10bn reduction in his original spending plans. Though it was recently revealed that £750 millon of the £2bn came from the health department anyway, thus it was recycled cash and arguably not extra funding.
If the Conservatives are still in government following the general election in May, Osborne has pledged to commit billions more to the modernisation of the NHS. He also allocated £1bn over four years for improving GP surgeries to decrease the pressure on hospitals. However, there is currently a national shortage of GPs and the declining funds has impacted every branch of the NHS.
The NHS is struggling as funds deplete and demands for care increase, the entire structure of the NHS is currently being re-evaluated in hopes of finding ways to make the organisation better suited for Britain’s evolving needs.
Osborne had previously said: “If you don’t have a long-term plan for the economy, you don’t have a plan for the future of the NHS. We have both.
“It’s because our economy is growing, and we’ve kept a tight control on the finances, that we can do more for the NHS. I can confirm that we will invest an extra £2bn next year in our front line NHS, across the UK. This will support the day-to-day work of our incredible nurses, doctors and other NHS staff. But it is also a down-payment on the future of our health service.