The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock will today introduce the NHS Long Term Plan Funding Bill to Parliament.
The bill will enshrine in law an extra £33.9 billion every year by 2024 for the NHS to transform care and will include a ‘double-lock’ commitment that places a legal duty on both the Secretary of State and the Treasury to uphold this minimum level of NHS revenue funding over the next 4 years.
The funding bill will seek to not limit the NHS in deciding how funding is spent and where. This will remain a decision that is made by local clinicians and commissioning groups for their local residents.
The bill will place a legal duty on the government to guarantee a minimum level of spending every year, rising to £148.5 billion by 2024.
In the first stage of the annual funding increase, the government has provided an extra £6.2 billion since April 2019, following the launch of the Long Term Plan in January 2019.
The bill provides safeguards that mean the Treasury will be required to ensure the annual supply estimates for the department’s NHS budget cannot be reduced, creating a legal exception that protects frontline NHS funding for the first time.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:
“During the election campaign, we committed to boosting funding for our NHS over the course of the Parliament and ensuring these new resources get to the frontline so that patients receive the care they need.
“Today we are making good on that manifesto commitment by introducing the NHS Funding Bill, demonstrating this government’s ironclad commitment to the NHS.
“With this unprecedented bill, we will enshrine in law the largest cash settlement in NHS history – bringing the total annual budget to almost £150 billion within 5 years.
“This funding bill will empower the NHS and its world-class clinicians to deliver our bold plan for the NHS. They can do so safe in the knowledge this government is giving them the financial certainty and support to revolutionise prevention, detection, and treatment of thousands of patients over the coming decade.”