Hammond’s £1.6bn cash for the NHS is less than half of £4bn needed

Full story in The Guardian, 23 November 2017

Philip Hammond has bowed to intense pressure to give the NHS more money in Wednesday’s budget, but produced less than half the £4bn the health service’s own boss said it needed to look after patients properly next year.

A payment of £1.6bn for the NHS in England in 2018-19 will see its budget rise to £126bn, rather than the £124.4bn originally planned. Similarly, it will receive £900m more than planned in 2019-20 to help it withstand the pressures of coping with the increasing demand for care. However, both are one-off payments, not permanent additions to the NHS’s baseline budget.

The chancellor also promised £337m in emergency funding to boost NHS efforts to avoid its usual winter crisis in the next few months, in a move that underlines how nervous ministers are about a repeat of hospitals visibly struggling to cope during last winter’s “humanitarian crisis”.