Sumary of Fixing NHS waiting times could cost £40bn, leaked No 10 estimates show:
- Boris Johnson may have to spend up to £40bn to try to repair NHS waiting times and end the long delays being faced by patients, according to unpublished Downing Street estimates..
- Calculations for No 10 drawn up by the Cabinet Office make clear that the prime minister may have to commit anywhere between £2bn and £10bn a year for up to four years, on top of core NHS funding, to tackle what is fast becoming a major political headache for the government..
- The figures, disclosed by Whitehall sources, underline the huge scale of the challenge in getting NHS waiting times back to manageable levels before the next election..
- The latest NHS England performance figures, out on Thursday, showed that the total number of people waiting for hospital treatment, especially surgery, had topped 5 million for the first time..
- However, despite negative publicity, Downing Street thinks it does not need to start throwing money at the problem soon because the public are not yet “distressed”.
- The projections were put together by the Cabinet Office as part of its work looking at the scale of post-Covid support needed in health, education and justice..
- Some Tories are tipping Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, to succeed Matt Hancock as health and social care secretary..
- NHS England plans to give Downing Street a detailed analysis soon of how long it will take to start providing care again within its existing set of targets, to help inform No 10 thinking before the comprehensive spending review in the autumn….