The Government has announced £5.4 billion additional funding to tackle some of the issues related to COVID. This comprises:
  • £2.8 billion for COVID-19 costs including infection control measures;
  • £600 million for day-to-day costs
  • £478 million for enhanced hospital discharge
  • £1.5 billion for elective recovery, including £500 million capital funding.

The NHS will receive an extra £5.4 billion over the next 6 months to support its response to COVID-19 and help tackle waiting lists, the Prime Minister and Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid have announced today.

The funding will immediately go towards supporting the NHS to manage the immediate pressures of the pandemic. This includes an extra £1 billion to help tackle the COVID-19 backlog, £2.8 billion to cover related costs such as enhanced infection control measures to keep staff and patients safe from the virus and £478 million to continue the hospital discharge programme, freeing up beds.

The additional £5.4 billion brings the government’s total investment to health services for COVID-19 so far this year to over £34 billion, with £2 billion in total for the NHS to tackle the elective backlog.

The waiting list for routine operations and treatments such as hip replacements and eye cataract surgery could potentially increase to as high as 13 million. While today’s extra £1 billion funding will go some way to help reduce this number, waiting lists will rise before they improve as more people who didn’t seek care over the pandemic come forward.

£478 million of this new funding has been dedicated to continue the hospital discharge programme so staff can ensure patients leave hospital as quickly and as safely as possible, with the right community or at-home support. This will free up thousands of extra beds and staff time to help the NHS recover services. The government has also invested £500 million in capital funding for extra theatre capacity and productivity-boosting technology, to increase the number of surgeries able to take place.