New diagnostic centers deliver nearly three-quarters of a million tests

  • Up to 160 community diagnostic centers by 2025
  • 73 centers already open and carrying out 30,000 additional tests per week
  • From April 6, the Health and Social Care Tax will start raising billions to tackle Covid backlogs and reform services
  • £36billion over the next three years will put health and care services on a sustainable footing

From Wednesday April 6, the first-ever dedicated health and social care tax will start raising billions to help tackle Covid backlogs and reform services in the UK.

Over the next three years, a record £36billion will be invested in the health and social care system to ensure it has the long-term resources it needs while striving to reduce patient wait times and speed up diagnoses.

In England, record levels of health and social care funding will help provide up to 160 community diagnostic centers across the country by 2025 – including the 73 that are already open.

These centers have already performed more than 700,000 additional CT, MRI, ultrasound, endoscopy and ultrasound tests, with around 30,000 tests per week. The latest figures, due next week, are expected to show that three quarters of a million more tests have been delivered to patients in need by the end of March.

By the end of May, four more community diagnostic centers will be open across the country, providing one-stop-shops for tests and checks closer to people’s homes.

The pandemic has put unprecedented pressure on the NHS. The number of people waiting for elective care in England is 6million – up from 4.4million before the pandemic – and that figure is set to rise as up to 10million people have failed to show up for treatment during the pandemic .

The necessary, fair and responsible levy will enable the NHS to offer more appointments, checks, tests and operations and reform the way services are delivered so that the NHS is ready for the future, rather than just filling in the gaps.

In addition to new community diagnostic centres, record health care funding will help provide:

  • 9 million checks, scans and operations by 2025 – a quarter increase in capacity compared to the three years before the pandemic.
  • New Surgical Hubs – which will add to the network of more than 40 stand-alone hubs already operating across the country, helping to reduce wait times for procedures such as cataract surgery or hip replacements.
  • Expansion of operating theaters and cancer diagnostic centres.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said:

From Wednesday, the Health and Social Care Tax will raise billions to improve the services that really matter to the public and help us recover and reform as we begin to live with Covid.

This is vital funding for the NHS which will eliminate Covid backlogs, help cut waiting times, provide millions more checks, scans and operations and reform the adult welfare system.

This critical investment in our nation’s future will be paid for by those with the broadest shoulders, while those with low and middle incomes are protected.

The levy will also reform our welfare system, backed by £5.4billion. This will end the cruel social care cost lottery, limit the cost of care for everyone in the adult social care system for the first time and dramatically increase state support. It will also invest £500m in the social care workforce, details of which are expected this week.

The reform will ensure that people receive the care they need, regardless of their origin, and that they will be supported to have greater choice, control and independence over their care.

To ensure everyone contributes fairly, all working adults, including those over the statutory retirement age from April 2023, will pay the levy and dividend tax rates will also increase by 1 .25% to help fund this package.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak said:

Investing in health and social services is a top priority for this government, and it is right that we fund this investment in a responsible and sustainable way.

The money raised by the Levy will allow us to provide improved services to patients, reduce waiting times and make funding for social care fairer – all within the framework of a better health and protection system. social.

The levy will initially be based on National Insurance Contributions (NIC) and from 2023 will be legislatively separate.

Each individual will contribute according to their means. Those who earn more pay more, with the top 15% paying more than half of the income.

Low-income people will be shielded from the levy following steps taken by the Chancellor in the spring statement last month. From July, the level at which people pay National Insurance on their earnings will rise to £12,570, saving a typical employee more than £330 a year. The change does not affect funding available for health and social care.

It means the NHS gets the vital funding it needs to clear the Covid backlog, but it’s paid for by those with the broadest shoulders, while those on low and middle incomes are protected.

Recognizing that this year will be tough on household budgets, a £9.1billion package will see most households receive £350 to help with rising energy bills, including a grant in £150 cash through the council tax system in April and a £200 energy reduction. invoices in October with a cost smoothed over 5 years.

Before Covid no one waited longer than 18 months for elective treatment, but now 106,000 people are. Patients will be offered more choice and information on average wait times at the benchmark. Those waiting the longest will be contacted by the NHS for the option of switching providers to reduce their wait. The NHS will support patients with travel costs where possible and engage with the independent sector so that all options are available. By the end of this year, all patients who have been waiting for 18 months or more will be contacted to discuss their choices regarding switching providers.

The investment will help fund the NHS Covid backlog recovery plan and ensure that:

  • About 30% more elective activities are carried out by 2024/25 than before the pandemic.
  • Waits longer than a year for elective care are eliminated by March 2025, and waits longer than 18 months by April 2023.
  • By July 2022, no one will wait more than two years for elective treatment.
  • By March 2024, three-quarters of patients referred urgently by their general practitioner for suspected cancer will be diagnosed or have their cancer ruled out within 28 days.
  • The number of people waiting more than 62 days after an urgent cancer referral will return to pre-pandemic levels by March 2023.

The funding raised through the levy comes on top of the historic NHS settlement in 2018, which will see its budget rise by £33.9billion a year by 2023/24.

Comments are closed.