NHS to receive £20bn boost by 2024 partly funded by ‘Brexit dividend’

The Vote Leave campaign bus said the UK sent the EU £350m a week Credit: PA

The NHS will receive an extra £20 billion a year in real terms by 2024, partly paid for by a “Brexit dividend”, Theresa May has announced.

The Prime Minister is setting out the five-year budget settlement to mark the 70th anniversary of the health service.

The PM said that money that no longer needs to be paid to the EU after Brexit will help fund the increase by 2023-24, and the country will also be asked to contribute more towards the NHS.

As part of the initiative the health service will draw-up a long-term plan led by doctors setting out how the resources should be best used, the government said.

The government said that under the plan by 2023-24, the NHS budget will increase by over £20billion a year in real terms, which is approximately £600million a week in cash terms.

Speaking to the BBC, Theresa May said:

"We want to see improvements in the performance issues that matter to people today - A&E, waiting times, but I also want to see improved survival rates from cancer, I want to see better mental health services.

"We're making the NHS our priority, we're putting this significant amount of extra money into it, we need to make sure that money is spent wisely," she added.

It was recently reported that half a million patients have had to wait more than 18 weeks for treatment Credit: PA

One Conservative MP who campaigned for remain dismissed the idea of a 'Brexit dividend' as "tosh".

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell believes that the financial boost is not enough.

“After eight years of Tory cuts and privatisation, the NHS and social care are in crisis," he said.

“Today’s announcement on funding is nowhere near good enough and the Prime Minister has confirmed there is no new money for social care.

“This falls far short of the 4% that experts say the NHS needs, it is just a standstill, and the Tories are refusing to say where the money will come from."

The prime minister has doubled the Brexit bus's £350m claim. Credit: PA

Chief executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens, said: “As the NHS turns 70, we can now face the next five years with renewed certainty. This multi-year settlement provides the funding we need to shape a long-term plan for key improvements in cancer, mental health and other critical services.

“And the invitation to the NHS to develop consensus proposals for legislation will help accelerate the move to more integrated care, and ensure taxpayers’ money is spent to maximum benefit.”