Campaigners have said the government’s pledge to provide an extra £20 billion a year to the NHS will be insufficient to meet patients’ needs after years of NHS underfunding.
The NHS has struggled financially in recent years, and has not been meeting performance targets in areas such as A&E and cancer waiting times, mental health services and primary care.
Chief executive of the NHS, Simon Stevens, told ministers in November that the health service needs an extra 4% a year in budget rises; however, the extra £20 billion a year represents a budget rise of only 3.4%. Campaigners say this is not enough to address the challenges faced by the NHS, or make essential improvements to services that are underperforming.
It is expected that the extra revenue will be collected through an increase in taxes.