NHS gets £5.9bn booster shot in Budget to tackle record waiting lists

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NHS gets £5.9bn booster shot in Budget to tackle record waiting lists

THE NHS will get an £5.9billion booster shot to take on growing waiting lists, the Chancellor announced in the Budget today.

This afternoon Rishi Sunak confirmed plans to increase the embattled health service's spending.

NHS gets £5.9bn booster shot in Budget to tackle record waiting lists

Rishi Sunak confirmed the Budget today – including support for the NHS Credit: Alamy

NHS gets £5.9bn booster shot in Budget to tackle record waiting lists

The NHS is set for an injection of extra support to tackle the growing waiting lists Credit: PA

The injection of cash is key in today's Budget – designed to help get more people the treatment they need amid huge Covid delays.

Within the UK's healthcare, more mobile testing, checks and scan sites will pop up all over the country to deal with the growing backlog in vital appointments and checks.

The Chancellor declared today's Budget was in line with “a stronger economy for the British people”, as he outlined the plans for the year ahead.

My Sunak added: “[There will be] more operating theatres to tackle the backlog and 100 community diagnostic centres – all staffed by a bigger, better-trained workforce, with 50,000 more nurses and 50 million more primary care appointments.”

He also revealed the health capital budget will be the largest since 2010, with better newborn screening, 40 new hospitals and 70 hospital upgrades.

He said: “At the start of this Parliament, resource spending on healthcare was £133bn. Today’s Spending Review confirms that by the end of the Parliament, it will increase by £44bn to over £177bn.”

A focus on early life healthcare was also announced, with the Chancellor adding an inclusion of £300million “Start for Life” parenting programmes and funding to create a network of family hubs around the country.

🔵 Read our Budget 2021 live blog for live updates

We revealed on Monday the Treasury said there will be at least 100 “one-stop-shop” community diagnostic centres across England, including the 44 already announced.

These centres are expected to help clear most existing test backlogs caused by the pandemic, including for CT, MRI and ultrasound scans, by the end of the parliament.

Around £1.5billion will be spent on bed, equipment and “surgical hubs”, and £2.1billion to improve IT and tech within the NHS.

Over five million Brits are still waiting for NHS treatment in England.

And hundreds of thousands have been holding out for more than a year.

Ahead of the Budget, bodies representing councils and healthcare groups warned the NHS backlog will take longer to clear without extra funding for social care.

Councillor David Fothergill, chairman of the LGA's community wellbeing board, said there cannot be a sustainable NHS without a sustainable adult social care system.

He said: “Immediate extra funding is needed in the spending review to help avoid a situation where people spend longer in hospital, rather than in their own home and communities – or having their operations cancelled more regularly – as NHS pressures become unsustainable this winter and councils are left increasingly powerless to help.”

The funds announced today are on top of an extra £12billion-a-year which was announced last month.

That money will come through tax increases and be spent on staffing.

It was also announced over the weekend that the Department of Health and Social Care will also receive £5billion over the next three years to fund research and development.

Health chiefs said it will fund genome technology to allow doctors to detect more than 200 conditions in babies, compared with existing tests which can only identify nine.

Some £95million of the funding will go towards the Office for Life Sciences to help with cutting-edge innovations to help treat cancer, obesity and mental ill health.

Mr Sunak said: “We are committed to getting health services back on track and ensuring no one is left waiting for vital tests or treatment.

“This is a game-changing investment in the NHS to make sure we have the right buildings, equipment and systems to get patients the help they need and make sure the NHS is fit for the future.”

Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, said: “Our phenomenal NHS has worked so hard to keep people safe during the pandemic and we'll do whatever it takes to make sure people are getting the treatment they need as quickly as possible.

“This £6billion investment will support the delivery of millions more checks, scans and procedures for patients across the country.”

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