Conservatives rely on the NHS just as much as everyone else, and I am committed to ensuring that our National Health Service remains free at the point of need, regardless of ability to pay. It’s not for sale.
In Salisbury, we are fortunate to have an outstanding local hospital, and I regularly visit the Chair and Chief Executive at SDH. In addition to meetings with the senior team, I visit wards to support a range of awareness campaigns and meet staff. I am also regularly engaged with GP surgeries, patient groups and care homes across the constituency, to understand the breadth of services provided and to keep on top of key local issues.
There are increasingly significant demands on the NHS: people are living longer, with more chronic conditions and more treatments are coming online every day. All of these present a challenge to think about how health services are delivered and where we can improve community care.
Despite tight public finances, the government has actively supported the NHS plan for the future. In 2018, the government announced that an additional £20.5 billion in real terms will be made available for the NHS in England by 2023/24. Out of this additional funding, the government has committed to spend £2 billion on improving mental health services.
The NHS Five Year Forward View (FYFV) also proposed major changes to the provision of healthcare services. It identified that the NHS will need to continue to adapt in response to increasing patient demand, funding constraints and new technologies and treatments. The FYFV set out NHS funding scenarios for the period to 2020/21 and estimated that if it received £8 billion more funding then the remaining £22 billion gap could be found through driving efficiencies.