The Prime Minister wants to cut down on pen-pushing bureaucracy to free up the straining service so it can tackle the country’s biggest health challenges.
Another £113 million is also being pumped into funding for pioneering research for the four new “healthcare missions” of cancer, obesity, mental health and addiction.
Mr Sunak said: “The NHS faces real pressures, which is why we are investing over £100 million in the technologies and medicines of the future to address some of the biggest public health challenges facing our country.”
“This funding will improve outcomes for patients, ease existing pressures on the system and ensure that we are amongst the first to benefit from medical breakthroughs.”
“Importantly it will also help save the NHS millions of pounds that could otherwise be spent on patient care – for example by tackling obesity which costs the health service over £6 billion annually.”
“It is hugely welcome too that the highly successful Vaccine Taskforce, which procured millions of life-saving vaccines in record time during the pandemic, will now become a blueprint for how we harness the best talent and expertise from around the world and drive investment in research and development.”
Each of the missions will be led by an independent expert chosen by a panel that includes Dame Kate Bingham, who headed the vaccine task force.
Ministers believe tackling the key challenges could save the NHS and the economy billions, with obesity alone estimated to cost the health service £6.1 billion per year while poor mental health amounts to a bill of £118 billion.
The government wants to follow the success of the approach used to secure and roll out the covid vaccine by securing the best research expertise, removing unnecessary bureaucracy and bolstering partnerships with businesses.
Mr Sunak, Health Secretary Steve Barclay and Business Secretary Grant Shapps will meet NHS leaders, global chief executives and key industry figures today.
Research into mental health will get £40.2 million, addiction £30.5 million, cancer £22.5 million and obesity £20 million.
Health Secretary Steve Barclay said: “Conditions such as cancer and obesity prevent people leading long, healthy lives and cost the NHS billions of pounds every year.
“We’re leading the way in cutting-edge research which can find new ways to speed up diagnosis, enhance treatments and ensure a better quality of life for patients – both now and in the future.”
“By harnessing the same spirit of innovation that delivered the vaccine rollout and working hand in hand with the NHS, industry and healthcare experts.”
“We’re building a stronger, healthier NHS with record numbers of staff and record funding, to give people the security of knowing it will be there for them when they need it.”
The four new areas being focused on come after the launch of the dementia mission in August 2022 in memory of the late Dame Barbara Windsor, which was backed by £95 million.
Under that, the number and speed of clinical trials in dementia and neurodegeneration have been boosted.
Dr Susan Kohlhaas, Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “We’re delighted to see the Government recommit to delivering the Dame Barbara Windsor Dementia Mission which contributes to its commitment to double dementia research funding to £160m by 2024/25.
“Decades of painstaking research have brought new dementia treatments within reach, and we’re now on the cusp of some incredible breakthroughs for people with dementia.
“The Dementia Mission is a huge opportunity to build on this momentum and will mean the UK can continue to play a world-leading role in bringing forward the changes that people with dementia desperately need.”
It comes as the NHS continues to deal with covid backlogs and is braced for a tough winter as flu and covid are expected to increase pressures on services.
The health service is also struggling with staffing issues, with nurses preparing to strike over pay, long delays for appointments and ambulances, and a backlog in discharging patients.
The British Medical Association welcomed the “injection of funding” for research but warned it must be coupled with further investment in the NHS and in the welfare system.
Medical academic staff committee chairman Professor David Strain said: “Doctors are already struggling to pick up the pieces of a broken social safety net.
“A stronger social safety net, backed by well-funded public services, would save thousands from needing the NHS’s services at all.
“It is also clear that the Government needs to invest more in the NHS here and now. Despite the pressures in GP practices, hospitals and other healthcare settings, the autumn statement delivered another effective pay cut to the health service’s budget.
“This is impeding the NHS from getting on top of the backlog and providing treatment to patients who desperately need it, causing untold suffering across the country.”
Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said: “It is welcome that NHS and life sciences leaders are being brought in to help fix the mess the Conservatives have made.”