Robert Buckland MP welcomes investment and long-term plans for NHS

By Jamie Hill - 20 June 2018

Politics

South Swindon MP Robert Buckland, has welcomed the Prime Minister’s plans to invest nearly £400 million more a week in the NHS in real terms, securing our greatest national inheritance for generations to come.

As the NHS approaches its 70th birthday, the Conservative Government has announced plans to preserve the value of fairness on which it was founded whilst building the NHS of the future, and ensuring it will be there for our children and grandchildren and beyond, just as it has been there for us in the past.

The Government has brought forward a long-term plan for the NHS and a five-year funding settlement. Under the plan, NHS funding will grow on average by 3.4 per cent in real terms each year from 2019-20 to 2023-24 - considerably more than the 2.2 per cent which Labour have committed to. And by 2023-24 the NHS England budget will increase by £20.5 billion in real terms compared with today. That means it will be £394 million a week higher in real terms. 

The Prime Minister has also laid out her priorities for the NHS. These are:

-  Empowering the workforce to deliver the NHS of the future. We will need a workforce that is empowered to deliver the best possible outcomes, flexible enough to adapt to new models of care and valued for their commitment to our NHS.

-  Harnessing the power of innovation. We have the opportunity to lead the world in the use of data and technology to prevent illness, not just treat it; to diagnose conditions before symptoms occur, and to deliver personalised treatment informed not just by general understanding of disease but by your own data including your genetic make-up.

-  Focusing on prevention, not just cure. If we want not just to cope with an ageing population, but thrive too, we will need a renewed focus on prevention.

-  Building true parity of care between mental and physical health. We will not have succeeded in building the NHS of the future unless we recognise the importance of looking after our mental health, just as much as our physical health, and we put the resources in to mental healthcare to make that a reality. 

Theresa May has also pledged to put the social care system on a sustainable footing, recognising that the NHS and social care are closely linked and ensuring that pressures on the NHS do not rise because of changes to social care services. Last year, the Government provided and extra £2billion for social care and further proposals for social care reform will be brought forward later this year.

Robert Buckland MP commented: “As the NHS approaches its 70th birthday, I welcome the Prime Minister’s plans to secure the future of the NHS by bringing forward a long-term plan and a five-year funding settlement. 

“The Government has been able to make this funding offer because we have managed the public finances responsibly. It is because of our balanced approach to reduce debt as a share of GDP, to keep taxes as low as possible – and to invest in our public services. So we will stick to our fiscal rules and continue to ensure debt falls, while prioritising our NHS within public spending and helping to secure its long term future.”

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