NHS funds need urgent boost, say MPs
A group of British MPs says the government is incorrect to keep claiming it is allocating an extra £10bn to the NHS in England over the next five years.
The Health Committee has written to the chancellor to say using the figure gives the “false impression that the NHS is awash with cash”.
The group said the figure was closer to £4.5bn and called for more NHS funding in November’s Autumn Statement.
But the government insisted the £10bn figure was accurate.
NHS funding: Is £10bn rise really a cut?
The Health Select Committee, chaired by Dr Sarah Wollaston, has been hearing evidence over recent months on the state of NHS finances.
Its letter says what it was told by senior NHS figures “clearly demonstrated the financial pressure facing the NHS”.
But it warned that “the extent of this pressure is not sufficiently recognised” by government.
Ministers regularly state that there will be £10bn extra in funding for the NHS by 2020-21.
The £10bn figure is calculated in real terms once inflation has been taken into account and includes £2bn which was announced in the last Parliament.
The health committee says that while the figure is not incorrect, it is misleading because it can only be reached by adding an extra year to the spending review period, changing the date from which the real terms increased is calculated and disregarding the total health budget.
The committee says a substantial part of the extra funding for the NHS comes from cuts to other areas, such as public health.
Dr Wollaston, Tory MP for Totnes, told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme that the head of the NHS had been “very clear” about what the organisation needed, but the government was not delivering.