The Department of Health & Social Care (the Department) has overall responsibility for healthcare services. It is accountable to Parliament for ensuring that its spending, as well as spending by NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I), other arm’s-length bodies and local NHS bodies, is contained within the overall budget authorised by Parliament. The Department is also responsible for ensuring that those organisations perform effectively and have governance and controls in place to ensure they provide value for money. The Department also sets an annual NHS capital budget based on local spending trends and central initiatives and is responsible for ensuring that the capital limit is not exceeded. Most of the funding allocated to the Department is given to NHS England to plan and pay for NHS services. In 2018–19, this amounted to £113.6 billion, with most of this spent by 195 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) which purchased services from 227 trusts.
In June 2018, the Prime Minister announced a long-term funding settlement for the NHS, which will see NHS England’s budget rise by an extra £33.9 billion in cash terms by 2023–24. This equates to an average annual real-terms increase of 3.4%. In January 2019, NHSE&I published the NHS Long Term Plan (the Plan), setting out how it aims to achieve the range of priorities set by the government in return for the long-term funding settlement.
Published: 8 July 2020