£10 billion or £4.5 billion: what's going on with NHS spending?

23rd Nov 2016


The government is providing not just the £8 billion of extra funding that the NHS requested, but £10 billion of extra funding.


The government’s £10 billion commitment isn’t all of what NHS leaders asked for, and isn’t as generous as it sounds.


The Health Select Committee has said that the government's extra funding for health is actually £4.5 billion rather than £10 billion.


This is correct for funding over this parliament. Overall health spending will increase by £4.5 billion, after you take inflation into account. The £10 billion includes an extra year of spending and only refers to the NHS England budget rather than wider health spending.

Claim 1 of 2

“It is this Government that is providing not just the £8 billion of extra funding that the NHS requested, but £10 billion of extra funding”.

Theresa May, 23 November 2016

“The Health Select Committee...  says it’s actually £4.5 billion, not £10 billion. There’s quite a big difference there."

Jeremy Corbyn, 23 November 2016

The government is not giving the NHS what it requested. The figure of £10 billion refers to the NHS England budget, not overall health spending—a definition that’s been used in the past. There will be spending reductions in areas like public health that the NHS assumed would be funded when it calculated the size of its request.

Overall health spending this parliament is going up by £4.5 billion after inflation, once you count those other areas, as Mr Corbyn says. The Health Committee of MPs agrees.

In addition, NHS leaders asked for (at minimum) £8 billion extra over five years. The government’s £10 billion figure is calculated over six years, counting a year’s worth of money that’s already been spent in the previous parliament.

The government has claimed recently it understands the NHS’s request did cover this extra year. Full Fact is investigating.

The NHS says it is facing a funding gap of £30 billion by the end of this decade, as the population grows larger and as people live longer. It said in 2014 one option for dealing with this is for it to find £22 billion in efficiency savings, with the government putting in £8 billion.

But that’s not all. The NHS also said its ambitions for savings were only possible “provided we take action in prevention, invest in new care models, sustain social care services, and… see… wider system improvements”.

The government’s £8 billion commitment refers specifically to the NHS England budget. Outside of this, spending on public health is expected to fall over this parliament, and spending on social care is expected to continue to fall short of what’s needed, according to health policy experts.

This fact check is part of a roundup of Prime Minister's Questions, factchecked. Read the roundup.