“Will the £500 million bailout for the NHS, which Labour are calling for, make any difference..?”
BBC Question Time audience member, 28 September 2017
“I'm not sure that it's necessarily just - whatever money is promised by the Labour Party is necessarily going to be enough”.
Karen Bradley, 28 September 2017
It’s true that £500 million is “not a large number in proportion” to the £124 billion of total NHS spending in England, as David Dimbleby said. It’s about enough to run the English NHS for a day and a half.
The bigger question, also debated in the programme, is whether the NHS is getting enough money overall. We covered that here.
Government after government has considered £500 million plenty of money to boast about giving the NHS to help deal with the extra pressures of winter.
In the winter 2015, the Conservative government included “£400 million in resilience money” for winter in the NHS England budget.
In 2013, the Coalition government announced “A&E departments will benefit from an additional £500 million over the next 2 years to ensure they are fully prepared for winter.”
Right back in 1997, the Labour government assigned £300 million in additional expenditure on the NHS for the winter.
So every government for the past 20 years has argued that £500m is enough to make a difference when it comes to winter pressures on the NHS, but in the bigger argument about how much the NHS needs to survive and thrive in the future, it’s not a lot of money.
This factcheck is part of a roundup of BBC Question Time. Read the roundup.
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