Government announces budget for long term growth including funding for NHS digital transformation

The ‘Budget for Long Term Growth’ has been announced today by the UK government, sharing plans for the NHS to receive a £2.5 billion day-to-day funding boost for 2024/25 along with £3.4 billion in capital investment over the forecast period “to invest in new tech and digital transformation”.

The plan highlights a focus on investing in new technologies such as AI to help unlock productivity savings, replacing “outdated” IT systems, freeing up frontline workers from “time-consuming admin tasks” and making the NHS App a “single front door for patients”.

The government states that this investment, alongside the £2.5 billion cash injection, “means the NHS can commit to delivering £35 billion in productivity savings” by 2030. In addition, the NHS is said to be able to commit to raising productivity in the system to two percent on average by 2028-29.

The funding for the NHS is accompanied by investment in technologies for other public services, such as drones and facial recognition tech for the police force and AI solutions to be used in government to “make it easier to spot and catch those who try to defraud the public purse”.

Click here to see the budgetary update from HM Treasury.

Last month, HTN reported on NHSE’s board meeting, which updated on progress around current digital programmes; key takeaways included a need to focus public communication on the Federated Data Platform around existing case studies and benefits; and the possibility of reallocating funding from improvement and transformation programmes in light of financial pressures.

HTN recently reported on plans from the government around regulatory work for AI, including intentions to launch a ‘single source of truth’ for AI risk.

Last year, we also covered news of a proposal for the AI Life Sciences Accelerator Mission from the Departments for Health and Social Care and Science, Innovation and Technology, which would involve funding of £100 million to be invested across areas where rapid deployment of artificial intelligence is viewed to have the “greatest potential” to tackle previously incurable diseases.

In February, we shared how the Department of Health and Social Care has announced the launch of £10 million in funding to be used in part to support eight selected health tech companies in bringing innovative solutions to market.