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The NHS chief executive, Simon Stevens, warned government the number of people waiting for surgery would soar [Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA].

Sajid Javid should know better than to open his mouth.

We all called out Tory underfunding of the National Health Service while Philip Hammond was delivering his Budget speech on Wednesday.

Mr Hammond offered the NHS less than half the £4 billion (minimum) requested by the service’s boss, Simon Stevens. Mr Stevens recently went on record to ask when he could expect the minority Conservative government to begin delivering the £350 million a week that was promised by the leaders of the Leave campaign in the run-up to the EU referendum – so he clearly believe the health service needs much, much more cash.

What it’s getting is £1.6 billion extra in 2018-19, plus £900m extra in 2019-20 – but these are one-off payments rather than permanent additions to the budget, meaning the budget will be £126 billion in 2018-19 but will reduce by £700 million in 2019 and by £900 million in 2020. This is offset by previously-announced plans to increase the budget that mean the total in 2019-20, including the one-off payments, comes to £126.2 billion and in 2020-21 to £126.6 billion. That’s just £100 million more than was planned before Mr Hammond’s budget announcement.

There will be an extra £337m in emergency funding to boost NHS efforts to avoid its usual winter crisis in the next few months. Not enough.

And the NHS will get £3.5bn between now and 2020, as part of a separate injection of £10bn the NHS is due to receive to undertake repairs, build new facilities and modernise patient care. The rest of the money will be raised by selling off NHS land and buildings – but it is hard to tell how many such assets will need to be sold to raise that amount (and, of course, once they’re gone, they’re gone).

It is in this atmosphere that Labour’s Karen Lee – who continues to work as an NHS nurse while also representing Lincoln in the House of Commons – had to put Mr Javid straight on the condition of the health service:

She’s not the only one with the facts at her fingertips:

Those are the facts.

So don’t let the mealy-mouthed Tories fool you with their rosy talk.

Look beyond the pretty facade and you’ll see the Tory plan for the NHS is rotten; it stinks.


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