The government has announced that the NHS Long Term Plan Funding Bill will enshrine in law an extra £33.9 billion a year by 2024.
The bill, which will be introduced by Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock to the Parliament today, will include a ‘double-lock’ commitment that places a legal duty on the government to guarantee a minimum level of spending every year, rising to £148.5 billion over the next four years.
It will not seek to limit the NHS in deciding how funding is spent and where.
Outlining his government’s commitment to the NHS, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Putting our record funding commitment into laws shows that we will stop at nothing to deliver on the people’s priorities.”
“Guaranteeing frontline services the biggest cash boost in history is another huge step towards making sure this treasured institution has everything it needs to deliver world-class care,” he added.
The NHS funding bill is one of the first pieces of domestic legislation to go through Parliament since the new government took office.
Matt Hancock said: “During the election campaign, we committed to boosting funding for our NHS over the course of the Parliament and ensuring these new resources get to the frontline so that patients receive the care they need.
“With this unprecedented bill, we will enshrine in law the largest cash settlement in NHS history – bringing the total annual budget to almost £150 billion within five years.”
The bill provides safeguards that mean the Treasury will be required to ensure the annual supply estimates for the department’s NHS budget cannot be reduced.
Expressing his commitment to the bill, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, said: “We are delivering on our promise to focus on the people’s priorities, with the NHS at the forefront. By enshrining the largest ever cash increase for the NHS in law, we will deliver a world-class health service that makes life in this country even better for people.”