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Nursing unions welcome Theresa May's NHS funding boost but warn that it may not be enough

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Alfie Rankin

The prime minister has announced that the government is to increase NHS England’s current £114bn budget by an average of 3.4% in each of the next five years. According to May, by “2023-24 there will be about £600m a week more in cash going into the NHS”

May Described the funding as a “birthday present” for the NHS in its 70th year, however hinted that the funding increase would be at least partly funded through tax rises.

Janet Davies, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, welcomed the announcement stating that “Theresa May and Jeremy Hunt are to be congratulated on securing this increase, which is a great deal more than some of the sums being talked about earlier this year, the extra money should enable trusts to invest more in staff and, therefore, reverse some of the cuts in patient care nurses are reporting to us”

Having said that, Davies went on to argue that health thin-tanks had previously warned that only an increase above 4% would be enough to genuinely transform the NHS into the 21st century service all nurses want.

Meanwhile, Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said that, while the funding package was welcome, it was “not enough”.

“Any extra money for the NHS will be welcomed by the staff whose dedication and hard work have seen it through the toughest of times,” he said. “But it’s not enough. “It isn’t the long-term funding package health workers will have been hoping for, and there’ll be fears of strings attached,” said Mr Prentis.