The National Health Action Party has recently called out Boris Johnson on his lies that the £1.8bn in “new” funding that he announced for the NHS is really “new” after it was revealed that over half of the £1.8bn spending boost announced this week by Boris Johnson has come about through u-turning on a demand made last month, by NHS England, for NHS Trusts to cut their capital spending plans by 20 per cent.
NHS England’s demand that NHS Trusts cut their capital spending plans was made in July, when the National Health Service England (NHSE) finance director, Julian Kelly, wrote to Trusts warning them that the Department of Health and Social Care was at the brink of exceeding a Treasury mandated capital expenditure limit. Consequently, Boris Johnson’s announcement that the money represents new funding for the NHS – an announcement which is clearly being made to lay the groundwork for a general election pre or post what appears to be an increasingly likely hard Brexit - is in fact a lie. The money is merely being given back to NHS Trusts who had already planned to spend it prior to the announcement of the cut.
Boris Johnson has also pledged that the remaining funds will go towards 20 capital schemes. Capital spending in the NHS being understood as spending which covers investment and procurement of medical equipment and technologies and estate infrastructure.
Dr Helen Salisbury, Spokesperson for the National Health Action Party, speaking to LBC’s Tom Swarbrick called out the Prime Minister on these untruths, “Not only is the money not new, but it’s also a drop in the ocean compared to the 18.2bn per year that we were promised on the side of a bus”.
Dr Salisbury went on to say, “nor is it going to be of much use when compared to the actual capital expenditure deficit that we’ve currently got; we’ve got crumbling hospitals and six billion worth of repairs waiting to be done because NHS Trusts have been consistently told by successive Conservative governments that they’re not allowed to spend any money. This money isn’t going to sort it out”.