NHS £33.9bn funding bill enters Parliament

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The NHS Long Term Plan Funding Bill will enshrine in law an extra £33.9bn a year by 2024 for the NHS.

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 £33.9bn every year by 2024 for the NHS to transform care.

The bill 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 four years.

The bill will not seek to limit the NHS in deciding how funding is spent and where – a decision that is made by local clinicians for their local populations.

It will be one of the first pieces of domestic legislation to go through Parliament since this government took office, placing the NHS top of the domestic agenda.

The bill will place a legal duty on the government to guarantee a minimum level of spending every year, rising to £148.5bn by 2024.

In the first stage of this annual funding increase, the government has already provided an extra £6.2bn 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.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I have heard loud and clear that the priority of the British people is the NHS. Guaranteeing frontline services the biggest cash boost in history is another huge step towards making sure this treasured institution has everything it needs to deliver world-class care. There can be no doubting our commitment to the NHS. Putting our record funding commitment into law shows that we will stop at nothing to deliver on the people’s priorities.”

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