Theresa May set to announce NHS 'birthday present' of £4bn a year extra funding

Posted On: 
25th March 2018

Theresa May is reportedly planning a £4bn a year boost to NHS funding to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the health service being established.

Theresa May is reportedly preparing an annual funding boost of £4bn for the health service

The Sunday Times reports that the Prime Minister will announce a "birthday present" in July of £4bn a year extra spending for the next ten years.

A Cabinet source also told the paper the idea of a special NHS tax was "still on the table".

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The new funding arrangements for the health service will apparently kick in as Britain leaves the EU next spring, allowing Brexiteers to claim that the Vote Leave campaign's suggestion of extra money for the NHS is being fulfilled.

At this month's Spring Statement, Chancellor Philip Hammond hinted there could be scope for more spending on health, but it was expected that any new announcements would come at the Budget towards the end of this year.

In pushing the move forward, Mrs May has bowed to pressure from both Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. 

The Government have been under growing pressure in recent months as Accident & Emergency units continue to miss waiting time targets and tens of thousands of operations have had to be delayed.

Elsewhere Mr Hunt is announcing a new plan to train an extra 3,000 midwives a year so that mothers have the same midwife throughout their pregnancy, a move research suggests could reduce miscarriages by a fifth.

“The next step in my mission to transform safety standards is a drive to give mums dedicated midwives, who can get to know them personally and oversee their whole journey from pregnancy to labour to new parent," Mr Hunt said.