Thursday 6 September 2018 / 9:54 AM Jonathan Ashworth / NHS

Matt Hancock’s plan is a pipe dream – Jonathan Ashworth

Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, responding to Matt Hancock’s admission that the funding for NHS technology announced today will be taken out of NHS revenue budgets rather than new capital funding, said:

“Today the Health Secretary let the cat out of the bag, confirming that hospitals’ must install new IT systems will have to be paid for by existing NHS budgets announced by Theresa May in July.

“With 4.3 million people on waiting lists, A&Es in crisis, GP numbers falling and mental health services overstretched, the July funding settlement was widely derided as a ‘standstill’ budget for the NHS, falling short of what experts said was needed to provide the quality care that patients expect.

“The funding deal failed to offer a penny piece extra for new capital instalment to allow hospitals to properly upgrade equipment, IT and make best use of the technology of the future.

“It’s astonishing that rather than prioritising growing waiting lists or chronic staff shortages, the Health Secretary is insisting new IT systems must be paid for by already over-stretched budgets. This isn’t a serious plan for technology and innovation in the NHS, it’s a pipe dream.

“At the last election Labour promised at least an extra £10 billion of capital investment for our NHS. Unlike the Tories, Labour will ensure hospitals are able to replace essential equipment and place innovative technologies at the heart of our health system.”