Theresa May’s claims that the government is putting £10bn extra into the NHS are untrue and the underfunding of the health service is so severe that it may soon trigger rationing of treatment and hospital unit closures, a group of influential MPs have warned Philip Hammond.
Five MPs led by the Conservative Dr Sarah Wollaston, the chair of the Commons health select committee, have written to the chancellor demanding the government abandon its “incorrect” claims of putting £10bn into the NHS annual budget by the end of this parliament and admit the severity of its financial shortage.
“The continued use of the figure of £10bn for the additional health spending up to 2020-21 is not only incorrect but risks giving a false impression that the NHS is awash with cash,” Wollaston and four fellow committee members tell the chancellor in a letter……
The Health Committee has written to the chancellor to say using the figure gives the “false impression that the NHS is awash with cash”.
It is calling for more NHS funding to be announced in November’s Autumn Statement.
The government insisted the £10bn figure was accurate.
The Health Select Committee, chaired by Dr Sarah Wollaston, has been hearing evidence over recent months on the state of NHS finances.
Its letter says what it was told by senior NHS figures “clearly demonstrated the financial pressure facing the NHS”.
But it warned that “the extent of this pressure is not sufficiently recognised” by government.
Ministers regularly state that there will be £10bn extra in funding for the NHS by 2020-21.
The £10bn figure is calculated in real terms once inflation has been taken into account and includes £2bn which was announced in the last Parliament.
The health committee said in July that it calculated the true figure to be about £4.5bn.
‘Pressure is building’
The committee called on Chancellor Philip Hammond to “seriously consider” finding more money for the NHS – and social care – in next month’s Autumn Statement.
Richard Murray, from think tank the King’s Fund, said: “The most urgent priority for the Autumn Statement is to increase funding for social care.
Immoral funding half-truths and creative accounting leave covert post-code rationing as the only option..