Annual increase of £12bn for health and social care to support reform

The Government today set out plans to tackle the Covid backlogs, reform adult social care, and bring the health and social care system closer together on a long term, sustainable footing.

£36 billion will be invested in frontline health and care over the next three years, with patients set to benefit from the biggest catch-up programme in the NHS’s history.

The NHS and the social care system in England will be brought closer together - so people can be better cared for at the time and place that is right for them. An integration white paper will be published later this year.

The government will set out a detailed plan later in the Autumn to enable Local Authorities and other providers to invest in technology, innovative methods of care and in their workforce.

From April 2022, the government will introduce a new, UK-wide 1.25 per cent Health and Social Care Levy, ring-fenced for health and social care. This will be based on National Insurance contributions (NICs) and from 2023 will be legislatively separate.

To ensure everyone contributes fairly, all working adults, including those over the state pension age, will pay the levy and the rates of dividend tax will also increase by 1.25% to help fund this package.

The pandemic put unprecedented pressure on the NHS. The number of patients waiting for elective surgery and routine treatment in England is now at a record high of 5.5 million. This could reach 13 million by the end of the year if left unchecked. Before the pandemic, nine out of ten were waiting fewer than 25 weeks in England. This has now risen to 44 weeks.

To fix this, the NHS needs to be able to offer more appointments, operations, and treatments. Rather than simply plugging the gaps, new, innovative practices must be pushed forward so patients continue to receive the best possible care.

The new funding is expected to fund an extra 9 million checks, scans, and operations. The NHS long term plan committed to increasing activity year on year. In recognition of pressures from Covid, this will now increase to 110% of the planned activity levels by 2023/24.

This is in addition to the settlement for the NHS in 2018, which will see its budget rise by £33.9 billion a year by 2023/24.

Amanda Pritchard NHS chief executive"The pandemic is still with us and we will have to live with the impact of Covid for some time, so the additional funding confirmed this week will help meet those additional costs, and give the NHS clarity for the coming years while delivering millions more of the vital checks, tests and operations that patients need," said Amanda Pritchard, NHS chief executive.

The overall system will be made fairer, to ensure those who fund their own care do not pay more than state-funded individuals for the equivalent standard of care.

The social care workforce will receive new training and qualification opportunities, so they have the opportunity to progress and improve, while providing an even better standard of care.

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