Monday, 5 August 2019

NHS Boost

After the announcement of an extra £1.8 billion, the Prime Minister has pledged that the sum to be paid this year, will immediately hit frontline services by boosting beds and providing new equipment. The funding is in addition to Theresa May's £33.9 billion yearly increase to go to the health service by 2023/24. Mr Johnson's latest spending pledge is expected to be used to upgrade wards, repair buildings and boost capital spending.

Nuffield Trust chief executive Nigel Edwards said the money falls far short of what is required, hinting at the £6 billion which has been mentioned before. The Nuffield Trust health think-tank said the sum will "only be a fraction" of the cost needed to upgrade 20 hospitals as Mr Johnson pledged on his first day as PM.

Labour, however, seized on the spending and said it "falls significantly short" of the amount needed to reverse Tory cuts. Labour accused the Tories of "smash and grab raids" by diverting money away from capital spending, used for equipment and repairs in order to plug funding holes elsewhere in the NHS. Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: "This announcement, even if it's ever delivered falls significantly short of what's needed to provide quality, safe care to patients after years of Tory cuts.

Liberal Democrat health spokeswoman Baroness Jolly said Mr Johnson's pledge "will not be worth the paper it's written on" when a no-deal hits.

Cancer Research UK said the investment would go "some way to address the immense strain" the NHS is under but stressed that funding in recruitment and training is essential to meet rising demand. Policy director Emma Greenwood added: "Upgrades to hospitals are welcome but the NHS is experiencing a staffing crisis. And it's impossible to diagnose more cancers at an early stage without the right staff.

He has faced continual criticism over his referendum battle bus claim that leaving the European Union would allow the UK to take back control of £350 million a week, some of which could be used to boost NHS funding. Obviously as we are still in the EU and still paying the EU, the pot for the NHS is smaller than everyone would have liked.

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