I cherish the NHS and its guiding principle: that it is universal and free at the point of need. The Government has made repeatedly clear that the NHS will never be on the table in any trade agreements. The price it pays for drugs will also never be on the table nor will the services it provides to patients. These were Conservative Party manifesto commitments and I fully support them.
I am proud to support a Government that is providing historic investment in health and our NHS, and is committed to funding our health and public services properly. The NHS is being supported to tackle the elective backlog, deliver its Long Term Plan and ensure it has the resources needed to recover from the impact of Covid-19. Despite difficult financial circumstances, NHS investment has increased every year since 2010.
The Chancellor made a number of spending commitments at the Autumn Statement, making available £8 billion of funding for the NHS and adult social care in England in 2024-25. As part of this, the Government is investing an additional £3.3 billion in 2023-24 and 2024-25 to support the NHS in England. This will enable rapid action to improve emergency, elective and primary care performance. This will happen alongside the introduction of reforms to support the workforce and improve performance across the health system over the longer term.
I believe that free trade is a driver of economic growth which can raise incomes, create jobs, and lift people out of poverty. I can also assure you that any agreements made in the future will ensure continued high standards and protections for workers and consumers.
Ministers will continue to ensure that the NHS is protected in all trade agreements to which the UK is party. The NHS is not and never will be for sale to the private sector and decisions about public services will only ever be made by the Government and devolved administrations, not by our trade partners.