The NHS budget and how it has changed

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Part of The NHS in a nutshell

Planned spending for the Department of Health in England is approximately £123.8 billion in real terms in 2017/18.

Though funding for the Department of Health continues to grow, the rate of growth has slowed considerably compared to historical trends. The Department of Health budget will grow by 1.1 per cent in real terms between 2009/10 and 2020/21 under current spending plans. This is far below the long-term average increases in health spending of approximately 4 per cent a year (above inflation) since the NHS was established. Under current plans, health spending per person in England will fall in real terms in 2018/19 and 2019/20. 

In its 2017 general election manifesto, the Conservative Party pledged to increase NHS spending by a minimum of £8 billion in real terms over the next five years, and to deliver an increase in real terms funding per head of the population for every year of the parliament. These commitments refer to NHS England spending only, rather than the Department of Health’s budget and therefore exclude some key areas of spending such as public health and education and training which are within the Department’s remit. Following the publication of the Naylor review of NHS property and estates, the Prime Minister also committed to an extra £10 billion in capital spending over the parliament to increase investment in buildings and technology. Some of this additional funding will come from NHS land sales and other sources rather than new government spending. 

Plans for how the government will allocate this additional NHS funding should be released in the Autumn 2017 Budget on 22 November 2017.