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Forward Budget Planning

Volume 612: debated on Tuesday 5 July 2016

In the autumn statement and the Budget the Government fully funded NHS England’s five year forward view. We have committed to an extra £10 billion in-year by the end of this Parliament. Furthermore, we have frontloaded it, as we were asked to do by NHS England, with £6 billion extra by the end of 2016-17 with an extra £4 billion for technology funding.

I thank the Minister for his answer. Having published reports on seven areas of the Department’s work since January, members of the Public Accounts Committee, of whom I am one, were looking forward to the publication of the annual accounts with some anticipation. It is becoming clear that Brexit’s impact on staffing, procurement and medicines will be huge, so what is the Minister doing to assess and mitigate the risk to the 2016-17 budget and will this be made clear in this year’s published accounts?

May I first make it clear, as the Prime Minister has done, that nothing immediately changes? We are still full voting-right members of the European Union, and nobody in the system needs to worry about any immediate changes. The Government are putting together a plan for handling the negotiations that now need to be taken forward, and for my own part I as a Minister in the Department have convened a workforce to look at the issues around medicines access. There are three things we need to do: first, to reassure people that this country has a very strong life science and healthcare research system and economy; secondly, to make sure that we negotiate our new relationship with the EU in a way that works; and thirdly, to take advantage of the regulatory freedoms that we now have to make sure that this country is the very best country in the world in which to develop those innovations.