The funding constraints come despite the unfolding ‘humanitarian crisis’ in the health service
The Government will cut the National Health Service’s budget per person in real terms next year, ministers have admitted in official figures for the first time.
Numbers released by ministers show NHS England will face a sharp reduction of 0.6 per cent in real terms of per head in the financial year 2018-19.
The numbers corroborate claims by NHS chief Simon Stevens earlier this month that “in 2018-19, real-terms NHS spending per person in England is going to go down”.
The figures also fly in the face of the Government’s public insistence that it is investing more in the health service, with Jeremy Hunt and Theresa May repeating the mantra of an extra £10bn for the NHS.
That claim was debunked by the cross-party Health Committee in the summer, whose chair, Tory MP Sarah Wollaston, said the number was both “incorrect” and “risks giving a false impression that the NHS is awash with cash”.
The Liberal Democrats said the figures show Tory claims of investment were “disingenuous” while Labour said the Government should use the March budget to close the black hole opening up in the health service’s finances.