Lobbying the Government for NHS Funding

MQT on 2019-09-12
Session date: 
September 12, 2019
Question By: 
Navin Shah
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


The Prime Minister’s £1.8 billion cash injection for the NHS in his spending pledge provides virtually no benefits to the health service in London. What are the priorities to improve the NHS in London and what plans do you have to lobby the PM for adequate resources for London in this instance?


Lobbying the Government for NHS Funding

Lobbying the Government for NHS Funding

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Thank you, Chair.  After about a decade of Conservative Government the NHS has been starved of resources.  Despite warm words from the Prime Minister and the Chancellor our NHS and local government are struggling under immense pressure.  NHS Trusts have a £6 billion backlog in maintenance alone and that is why the recent announcement of £1.8 billion for capital development is merely a drop in the ocean.  In London we need more funding so that our NHS stays fit for purpose, both now and in the future.  We need strategic decisions about estates to be taken by London;  a journey we have begun through the London Estates Board with the ambition of having a capital settlement devolved to London. 


The NHS also faces wider issues such as workforce.  The Government is yet to address this and Brexit is making a bad situation worse.  Investment in health and care is urgently needed beyond the NHS itself.  The NHS Long Term Plan will only be deliverable if the Government invests in all parts of the system.  Social care funding cuts are pushing services to the edge and despite repeat promises from the Government about the social care Green Paper all the Chancellor announced last year were further sticking plasters.  I have repeatedly called for the Government to fully reverse cuts to the Local Government Public Health Grant as well as the cuts that have decimated youth and community services.  I will continue to call on the Government to give us the powers and resources we need and I remain committed to championing the NHS and arguing for the resources it needs to provide the best health and care services for Londoners.


Navin Shah AM:  Thank you, Mr Mayor, for your full reply.  The fact is that the funding commitment for London is only £17 million, which means London will be receiving less than 2% of the overall funding that was announced. 


In the absence of leadership and commitment from central Government, how are you working with Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in London to develop a long‑term plan for healthcare in London? If Government will not do anything certainly we need to invest and that is where we want your response, please.


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Your question has highlighted that the announcement from the Chancellor last year relating to the NHS was a big ‘con’ so I am worried about the NHS in London for a variety of reasons.  I do not have direct powers over many of these things.  What I can do, as Chair of the London Health Board, is work with colleagues around London.  The good news is that on our Board we have the Lead Chair of London’s CCG, Sir Sam Everington, and so I will work with him in relation this area and also work in partnership with other key players around the room to make sure we can respond to what the Government is saying about a national NHS Long Term Plan. 


I do not want you to be under any illusion, I am worried about the NHS going forward, not just physical health and mental health issues but social care as well.  That is why working together we are going to try to champion London’s NHS and also be advocates for more resources and support from central Government.


Navin Shah AM:  It is very reassuring that you are working in partnership with local CCGs etc, and doing the best that you can for Londoners.  Thank you very much.