Theresa May reveals NHS set for 10-year funding boost to mark 70th anniversary
The NHS is set to receive a 10-year funding boost to coincide with its 70th birthday, Theresa May has indicated.
The Prime Minister said the struggling system "can’t afford to wait until next Easter" when its next spending review comes around.
And in a major victory for Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Mrs May dropped a huge hint that cash planning for the NHS could be done on a 10-year basis in future.
Mr Hunt said on Sunday that a longer-term budget would help fix the “rather crazy way that we have been funding the NHS over the last 20 years, which has basically been feast or famine”.
There have been reports that the Prime Minister was preparing to announce a “birthday present” for the health service in July of some £4bn a year for the next ten years.
Asked by MPs today how she planned to help the ailing NHS, Mrs May said it was time to get away from “annual top-ups” and forge a “sustainable long-term plan”.
She said: “It’s for government to take decisions about spending priorities and I would suggest we can’t afford to wait until next Easter.
“I think in this the 70th anniversary year of the NHS's foundation we need an answer on this.”
On her future solution, she said: “This year and in advance of next year’s spending review I do want to come forwards with a long-term plan.
“I want that to be done in conjunction with the leaders of the NHS with clinicians and health experts.
“The Government will provide a multi-year funding settlement in support of the plan consistent with our fiscal rules and balanced approach about ensuring that the NHS can cope with the rising demand ahead of the spending review.”
The announcement comes after almost 100 MPs – including 20 committee chairs – called for a cross-party commission to be set up to make recommendations about NHS funding.
Mrs May said she was not convinced that their proposed plan was the answer, but noted: “It’s desirable to build a political consensus on further reform."