NHS to be given extra £6.6 billion to cover cost of Covid, Matt Hancock announces

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Matt Hancock has announced the NHS will be given an extra £6.6 billion to cover the cost of coronavirus amid warnings hospitals faced cutting services without additional funding.

In an update to MPs, the health secretary said a further £341 million would also be set aside for adult social care in the first half of the financial year to support costs associated to infection control and testing.

Mr Hancock told the Commons the funds earmarked for the NHS was in addition to the £3 billion committed by Rishi Sunak at the spending review, insisting it would help the health service “meet the additional costs of Covid and critically starting work on the elective recovery ahead”.

The cabinet minister said: “Due to the pandemic, the waiting list for elective treatment in January was almost 4.6 million and 304,000 people are waiting more than a year for an operation of diagnostic”.

With just weeks remaining until the end of the financial year, Danny Mortimer, the chief executive of NHS Confederation, warned earlier this week that if the Treasury had not agreed to funding “this would put too many services in a perilous position at the start of the ‘recovery phase’ as the NHS plots its way out of the pandemic”.

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