GP premises missed out in 'rushed' government spending review

Government spending plans announced this week were 'another missed opportunity' to turn around years of underinvestment in the NHS, the BMA has warned.

Chancellor Sajid Javid (Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Chancellor Sajid Javid (Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Chancellor Sajid Javid set out his fast-tracked spending review on Wednesday, announcing 'the fastest planned increase in day-to-day departmental spending in 15 years'.

For the NHS, he announced a £6.2bn increase in funding next year - but the BMA has warned that the vast majority of this is not new funding.

BMA chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: 'Of the £6.2bn NHS funding lauded by the chancellor today, two-thirds of it comes from money announced under the last prime minister in 2018 – which the BMA is clear will not be enough to deliver the government’s ambitions in the long-term plan.

NHS funding

'Most of what’s left is money announced for hospital upgrades last month, largely funded through savings already made by hospitals.'

Dr Nagpaul warned that the announcement had failed to reverse £1bn in cuts to public health spending and that a £1.5bn funding announcement for social care did not go far enough.

The spending review had not provided 'detail on exactly how the government plans to support doctors in training, stop them leaving through burnout, and future-proof our medical workforce', the BMA chair said.

He added that Mr Javid had also delivered 'no long-term capital spending plan to address the £6bn maintenance backlog or investment in GP practice premises, so desperately needed to ensure patients are being treated in safe, up-to-date buildings'.

Brexit deadline

'Amid the chaos unfolding in parliament, the NHS needs certainty, and today’s one-year plan, rushed out ahead of the October 31 Brexit deadline, does nothing of the sort,' Dr Nagpaul warned.

The chancellor's announcement confirmed funding set out in the NHS long-term plan that will provide a £20.5bn real-terms increase in funding by 2023/24 for the health service.

The spending review described this as 'a cash increase of £33.9bn a year by 2023/24 compared to 2018/19 budgets'.

Under new funding announced for Health Education England, every nurse, midwife and allied health professional - including nurses working in general practice - will be offered a £1,000 personal development budget over 3 years.

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