Every area in England is set to receive a funding increase of at least 17 % over the next five years, including a minimum increase of 4.4% next year. Around £1 billion is ring-fenced to be distributed to areas with greatest need, primarily those with unmet health needs and the highest rates of early death. In practical terms, Blackpool and Bradford City, two areas with some of the highest premature death rates, will receive funding increases next year of 11% (£40 million) and 13% (£26 million) respectively.
The news of allocation of funding follows on from the publication of the NHS long Term Plan, which MAP reported last week. Interestingly, there is a guarantee that investment growth in primary, community and mental health care will outpace growth in the overall NHS budget, presumably offset by productivity gains elsewhere within the NHS.
NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said:
“This funding backs delivery of the NHS long term plan in every part of England for the next five years…Tackling health inequalities in our society is not just about fairness but is a matter of hard-headed economics which will not only save lives but also save taxpayers’ money and NHS staff time.
“The public can be confident that the NHS will make every penny count, with data published by the Office for National Statistics yesterday showing productivity for health services in England grew by 3% in 2016/17, over three times the growth for the wider UK economy in that year.”