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Chancellor’s budget includes £5bn to deal with coronavirus


By Helen Quinn
Reporter

11 Mar 2020

The Government has dedicated an initial £5bn to help the NHS get through the coronavirus outbreak.

But chancellor Rishi Sunak went on to promise the NHS will get whatever resources it needs to tackle the virus.

The Government has created a Covid-19 Response fund, part of which will be used to make sure the NHS is prepared and protected to treat Coronavirus patients. The fund will also be used to maintain staffing levels during the outbreak.

In addition, the chancellor announced £40m pounds of funding for the National Institute for Health Research and the DHSC. The money would enable further rapid research into COVID-19 and increase the capacity and capability of diagnostic testing and surveillance.

Mr Sunak said ‘whatever extra resources our NHS needs’ to cope with the coronavirus ‘it will get, whether that be millions, or billions, of pounds’.

And the statement added: ‘The Budget provides over £6bn of further funding to strengthen the NHS in England and pay for vital services that will improve people’s health, reaffirming the Government’s commitment to health and social care.’

It said this would fund the Government’s pledge for 6,000 more GPs and 50,000 additional GP appointments.


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