5 million waiting - fund our NHS!

Dear Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Health Secretary Sajid Javid and Chancellor Rishi Sunak

This autumn, please give OUR NHS all of the funding it needs to reduce waiting lists as quickly as possible and give patients the care they need.

This money must be directly invested in our NHS, not the private sector.

Photo of Sajid Javid speaking
Target: 14000

Last signature: Samantha Lincoln, 3 days 1 hour ago

Over 5 million patients in England alone are waiting for treatment right this second. We don’t want this crisis to push people to go private, and create a two tier system like the US.

The government has been underfunding our NHS for 10 years. And now, instead of investing in our NHS, it is propping up the private sector by paying them £10 billion (£200 million in shareholder profits) to run private hospitals using NHS staff to treat NHS waiting list patients.(1) This is not a solution. NHS staff should be working in NHS hospitals.

We are calling for the government to commit to new funding for our NHS in its autumn budget update. That means: 

  • Funding of at least £10 billion revenue a year to cover ongoing Covid costs and care backlogs (2)
  • Funding of at least £10 billion capital this year to urgently maintain and upgrade hospitals and vital equipment like ambulances and scanners (3)
  • Funding for the extra 90,000 NHS staff that are needed - increasing the number of doctors, nurses and healthcare staff through training and encouraging staff to stay with better pay, terms and conditions (4)
  • Funding for hospital beds - reopen the 22,000 beds closed since 2010 (5)
  • Funding for A&Es - reopen the 100+ A&Es closed since 2010 (6)
  • No more selling off hospital land, no more outsourcing NHS staff
  • Funding and a plan for social care so that people are cared for when they leave hospital

The public’s top priority for the NHS is improving waiting times.(7) Instead of wasting time, energy and money privatising and reorganising the NHS, the government should urgently give it the funding it needs.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak promised to give the NHS “whatever it needs, whatever it costs”. We urge him to deliver on that promise.

This campaign is supported by:



(1) https://inews.co.uk/news/health/nhs-waiting-lists-private-hospitals-lockdown-1141313

(2) https://www.nhsconfed.org/publications/reckoning-continuing-cost-covid-19

(3) For discussion of the capital spend needed, see this Rescue Plan from Health Campaigns Together and Keep Our NHS Public, plus 'Resilient health and care: Learning the lessons of Covid-19' from the IPPR.

(4) https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/apr/21/end-nhs-staff-shortages-now-boris-johnson-told

See the Kings Fund 'Closing the gap: key areas for action on the health and care workforce' and the BMA 'Rest, recover, restore: Getting UK health services back on track'.

(5) https://www.nuffieldtrust.org.uk/resource/hospital-bed-occupancy#background

(6) Types 1-3

(7) https://www.ipsos.com/ipsos-mori/en-uk/public-satisfaction-nhs-high-waiting-times-are-publics-priority

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