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Labour accuses Chancellor of ‘failing patients’ in Budget

NHS England will see funding fall from £147.7 billion to £139.1 billion from next year, unless ministers commit to more funding for the health service

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Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer elbow bumps a member of staff during a visit to Royal Derby Hospital (Christopher Furlong/PA)

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer elbow bumps a member of staff during a visit to Royal Derby Hospital (Christopher Furlong/PA)

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer elbow bumps a member of staff during a visit to Royal Derby Hospital (Christopher Furlong/PA)

Labour has accused the Chancellor of failing patients due to planned cuts to day-to-day spending in the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

Written Budget documents revealed that there is a planned cut of £30 billion in day-to-day spending from April of this year, falling from £199.2 billion to £169.1 billion.

NHS England will see funding fall from £147.7 billion to £139.1 billion from next year, unless ministers commit to more funding for the health service.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth accused Rishi Sunak of failing “patients, our NHS and its staff” in Wednesday’s Budget, as analysis by the opposition party found that waiting lists have hit a “record high”.

Research by Labour found that the number of patients waiting more than 18 weeks for treatment has increased by more than 500% over the last decade, while almost a quarter of a million people are waiting more than a year for treatment.

The party said that an estimated 4.6 million people are currently on the waiting list for treatment – the highest number on record.

Mr Ashworth said: “The Chancellor is failing patients, our NHS and its staff by cutting frontline services during a pandemic.

“With lists already at a record high, this will mean patients waiting even longer in pain for vital treatment.

“Yesterday’s Budget papered over the cracks rather than rebuilding the foundations of our country.”

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