Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced he is to increase the NHS budget over the next two years by an extra £3.3 billion. He also announced an increase in funding for the social care sector of up to £2.8 billion next year and £4.7 billion the following year.
Speaking in the Commons as he outlined the Autumn Budget, Mr Hunt said: “That is why today we commit to a record £8 billion package for our health and social care system – a Conservative government putting the NHS first.”
He said the NHS will be asked to “join all public services in tackling waste and inefficiency”.
He added: “We want Scandinavian quality alongside Singaporean efficiency. Both better outcomes for citizens and better value for taxpayers.
“That does not mean asking people on the frontline – often exhausted and burnout – to work harder, which would not be possible or fair. But it does mean asking challenging questions about how to reform all our public services for the better.”
Mr Hunt said the NHS would publish an independently-verified plan for the number of doctors, nurses and other professionals needed in five, 10 and 15 years’ time.
The government’s planned social care reforms will be delayed for two years to take pressure off services, the chancellor also announced.
He said councils had “very real concerns” about their ability to deliver the Dilnot reforms on time.
“I will delay the implementation of these important reforms for two years, allocating the funding to allow local authorities to provide more care packages.”
The reforms – named after the economist who developed them, Sir Andrew Dilnot – would cap the amount any person in England would have to pay towards social care.
Under the existing plan, the costs would be capped at £86,000 per person.
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