Is the £1.8 billion Boris is injecting into the NHS “new” money?

Boris Johnson wrote in the Sunday Times: “It is thanks to this country’s strong economic performance that we are now able to announce £1.8bn more for the NHS to buy vital new kit and confirm new upgrades for 20 hospitals across the country.” This included £850 million being spent on upgrading 20 hospitals and the rest would be for NHS capital spending.

In a BBC interview Johnson “stress(ed), this is new money”. However, a senior policy analyst at the Nuffield Trust was sceptical. She said that this money was in fact money that the trusts had in their banks anyway, but were previously prohibited from spending it, to ensure that there were no breaches of department capital spending limits.

Sally Warren, director of the King’s Fund also commented: “At one level, yes, it is new money. If the Treasury today were not providing this money, NHS trusts would not be able to spend this £1.8 billion.

“But another view is that actually – particularly the £1 billion that’s been announced today – is really reversing cuts that trusts were asked to make this year.”

These are amongst other NHS experts who back the idea that Boris is misleading voters about where the “new” money is coming from.

Full story on Channel 4 News, 5 August 2019