An additional £5.4 billion is to be allocated to the NHS budget as it works towards the reduction of service backlogs. The funding will be provided to the health service over the next six months. £1 billion of the spending package will be put towards the COVID-19 backlog, delivering routine surgery and treatments for patients.
Some £2.8bn will be allocated towards improving infection control in hospitals, helping to keep patients and staff better protected against the virus, while a further £478m will be spent discharging patients in order to free up more beds, according to the Independent. NHS spending will reach £15 billion in 2021. The number of people in the UK waiting for hospital care has reached 5.45 million, the highest figure since records began.
The health secretary Sajid Javid said: “We know waiting lists will get worse before they get better as people come forward for help, and I want to reassure you the NHS is open, and we are doing what we can to support the NHS to deliver routine operations and treatment to patients across the country.”
“This funding will go straight to the frontline, to provide more patients with the treatments they need but aren’t getting quickly enough”, said Boris Johnson, Prime Minister.