NHS Funding and Waiting Times

I have been contacted by a considerable number of my constituents about about the progress made in delivering the NHS's own plan for its future, the Five Year Forward View, for which I thank all of those who took the time to raise with me.

I absolutely recognise many peoples concerns but I can assure firsthand that Ministers remain committed to making the NHS the safest and best healthcare service in the world, which includes adequate funding in the face of the challenges it is experiencing. The Forward View sets out how the NHS will meet the challenges of an ageing population head on and deliver further improvements for patients in key priorities - better cancer treatment, expanding GP access, and transforming mental health care.

It is encouraging that standards have risen in recent years - ten years ago just under half of patients waited more than 18 weeks for treatment, now only around one in ten do. This is testament to the outstanding work of NHS staff, supported by an additional investment of £10 billion per year for our NHS. It is important to ensure that those who are most in need of urgent treatment are prioritised and that routine treatment can be delivered quickly. Progress continues to be made and in 2016 the NHS carried out more than 1.9 million more operations compared to 2010. To support the NHS in delivering this plan, there are now 11,600 more doctors and 13,400 more nurses on our wards to help reduce avoidable harm and ensure that patient care remains a priority.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me on this important issue.