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 £33.9 billion 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 4 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 £148.5 billion by 2024.
In the first stage of this annual funding increase, the government has already provided an extra £6.2 billion 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."
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:
"During the election campaign, we committed to boosting funding for our NHS over the course of the Parliament and ensuring these new resources get to the frontline so that patients receive the care they need.
"Today we are making good on that manifesto commitment by introducing the NHS Funding Bill, demonstrating this government’s ironclad commitment to the NHS.
"With this unprecedented bill, we will enshrine in law the largest cash settlement in NHS history – bringing the total annual budget to almost £150 billion within 5 years.
"This funding bill will empower the NHS and its world-class clinicians to deliver our bold plan for the NHS. They can do so safe in the knowledge this government is giving them the financial certainty and support to revolutionise prevention, detection, and treatment of thousands of patients over the coming decade."
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, said: