Wales politics

NHS funding: Call to spend extra £1.2bn on Welsh health service

Nurses giving out medications Image copyright Getty Images

Wales will be given an extra £1.2bn by the UK government - after ministers announced a 70th "birthday present" to the NHS.

Prime Minister Theresa May announced she was investing an extra £20bn a year in the NHS in England by 2023.

Ministers in Cardiff Bay have been urged to use the money for the health service.

The Welsh Government said its cabinet would meet to decide where the cash should be spent.

The investment comes as a knock on effect from England's NHS cash boost - with Wales' share being calculated using the Barnett formula.

However, as health is devolved in Wales, it will be up to ministers in Cardiff Bay to work out where exactly the £1.2bn will go.

The Wales Office said Mrs May's announcement meant the Welsh Government "would receive additional Barnett funding worth £1.2bn in real terms by 2023-24".

"This money can be used to address concerns raised on performance, as on a number of measures Wales is falling behind," said Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns.

"Our NHS is hugely valued by people in Wales, but we have not seen better outcomes for patients."

In an interview with the BBC, Mrs May said the NHS budget rise would be funded partly by a "Brexit dividend", but also hinted at tax rises.

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Media captionTheresa May promises extra NHS funding

"As a country we will be contributing more, a bit more, but also we will have that sum of money that is available from the European Union," she added.

The Welsh Government said a decision on the allocation of funding would be made by its cabinet "in the usual way".

A spokesman said: "We welcome the UK government's belated decision to mitigate their austerity policies on our NHS, which we have long been calling for.

"While we welcome any additional funding, it cannot be forgotten that had the Welsh Budget seen real terms growth between 2010-11 and 2019-20, the budget would be some £4bn higher than it is today."

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