Chancellor Philip Hammond is expected to deliver a £4bn boost for NHS England in his budget which will be used in part to buy in new equipment.
An extra £1bn in capital funding will be given to NHS England each year for the next four years but this is £6bn less than the £10bn of capital funding promised by the prime minister in her election campaign this year.
Mr Hammond’s emergency cash injection, which he will be unveiling in his budget speech, will grant the NHS around £6bn more by 2022. But he has been criticised for offering too little and for refusing to raise the NHS budget by £4bn by next year.
According to a report by the Guardian, Chris Ham, the chief executive of the King’s Fund health thinktank, said that if the numbers are confirmed, they will provide some relief to a “struggling NHS”.
“However, they fall well short of the £4bn increase we estimate is needed in 2018-19 to prevent standards of care falling further.”
Meanwhile, Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents hospital trusts: “The economy as a whole has seen average productivity gains of 0.2% a year over the last five years. The historical NHS average has been 1% a year. Thanks to the hard work of trusts, we’ve significantly exceeded both these – realising an average productivity gain of 1.7% a year between 2009-10 and 2014-15.
“And we mustn’t forget that the spending review plans already assume productivity gains of 2-3% a year between now and 2021. Is it really credible to argue that a significant level of further gain can be realised? Or is this a way of justifying a decision not to make the extra investment in the NHS that is needed?”