Today the government announced its financial settlement for the NHS for the next five years. Total spending will rise from £115 bn last year to £148bn in 2023-24, representing a 3.4% real increase each year.
The government wishes in particular to improve early cancer diagnosis, to improve mental health services, increase funding to ensure better quality care in the community, allow GP surgeries to expand, and improve maternity services. The NHS will have more money for introducing digital technology, personal healthcare budgets and more prevention measures.
I will be following up with the government over our local share of this welcome boost to NHS budgets. We do need to expand our local health capacity and make sure local health professionals have the budgets they need to provide a good quality service.