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We want our Brexit cash boost - NHS boss

From BBC - November 7, 2017

The health service should get the cash boost it was promised during the EU referendum, the head of the NHS in England is expected to say later.

Simon Stevens will use controversial claims used by Vote Leave to put the case for more money in a speech later.

With waiting times worsening, he will say trust in politics will be damaged if the NHS does not get more.

During the referendum it was claimed 350m a week was sent to the EU and that would be better spent on the NHS.

The claim was widely contested at the time and ever since - it did not take into account the rebate the UK had nor the fact the UK benefited from investment from the EU.

Some argued it proved highly influential in the referendum result.

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'Honour the promises'

The speech by Mr Stevens at the NHS Providers' annual conference of health managers is highly political, coming just a fortnight before the Budget.

And it is being made as three highly-influential health think-tanks - the King's Fund, the Nuffield Trust and the Health Foundation - publish a joint report calling for an extra 4bn to be given to health next year.

That amounts to eight times more than health spending is due to rise by.

Mr Stevens will tell delegates gathered in Birmingham: "The NHS was not on the ballot paper, but it was on the Battle Bus. Vote Leave for a better funded health service - 350m a week.

"Rather than our criticising these clear Brexit funding commitments to NHS patients - promises entered into by cabinet ministers and by MPs - the public want to see them honoured.

"Trust in democratic politics will not be strengthened if anyone now tries to argue: 'You voted Brexit, partly for a better funded health service. But precisely because of Brexit, you now ca not have one.'

Targets 'being missed'

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