All areas of the country have received record increases in their level of funding for the national health service. Funding of the NHS has increased from £34.7 billion in 1997-98 to £69.7 billion in 2004-05. By 2007-08, spending on the NHS will have increased to over £92 billion. This level of investment should enable NHS organisations to deliver key national and financial targets.
Priorities for the NHS are set out in “National Standards, Local Action: Health and Social Care Standards and Planning Framework 2005/06-2007/08”, which is available on the Department's website at:
These include details of health care standards, existing commitments and new national targets. All NHS organisations are expected to meet these priorities and achieve financial balance. The independent regulator, the Healthcare Commission, assesses health care organisations’ performance against these priorities, including financial balance.