Extra funding for NHS England

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond announced last week (22 November) in the Autumn budget that there will be extra funding for the NHS in England.

In his announcement he said he would give an extra £2.8bn over the next three years, with an immediate cash injection of £350m this year for the winter period.

Another £1.6bn will be made available between 2018-19 and the remaining £850m between 2019-20.

His announcement also included a commitment to funding pay awards for NHS staff on the Agenda for Change contract (including midwives, nurses and paramedics) but only if wider pay reform negotiations are successfully concluded to improve productivity, recruitment and retention. 

With regards to mental health, the chancellor said that a green paper will be published in December setting out the government’s plans to transform mental health services for children and young people. 

The budget included more money for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, with the devolved administrations all receiving increased spending power in devolved areas, including education, health and transport.

Each devolved administration will be able to decide where this will be spent. There will be an increase of £2bn for the Scottish Government, an increase of £1.2bn for the Welsh Government and an increase of £660m for a Northern Ireland Executive.

However, in response to the budget announcements, Unite’s general secretary Len McCluskey warned that millions of households will face the biggest squeeze in living standards ever. He said: ‘Communities continue to face more of the cuts which have sucked the life out of the economy, with wages plummeting and personal debt soaring to dangerous levels.

‘Services like our NHS, schools and police services face becoming ragged shadows of what they once were. Public sector workers, whose wages have been drained by thousands since the Tories took office, cannot provide for their families with warm words for their selfless service.

‘All public sector workers need the pay cap lifted now and a properly funded pay rise, not a pick and mix where only a chosen few see an end to the relentless pay shrinkage.’