Theresa May has repeated her claims the NHS will get £10bn extra funding a year, one day after Jeremy Hunt admitted this pledge had been fudged.
At Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) May said she was “giving £10bn of extra funding to the NHS”.
He told the Heath Select Committee the NHS had nevertheless received what it had asked for.
“Whether you call if £4.5bn or call it £10bn it is what the NHS said it needed”, he said.
This comes despite May’s claim on Wednesday that the NHS had received more than it said it needed.
“We asked the NHS themselves to come up with their five year plan... they... said it was £8bn that was needed. We are giving £10bn of extra funding to the NHS”, she told MPs.
A recent report put the overall extra NHS spending at £4.5bn a year by 2020, rather than £10bn.
At the select committee hearing Hunt agreed the £10bn figure had been inflated by stretching the time period, telling the select committee “This amount of cash is being handed to the NHS... over the six years”, rather than the five originally promised.
During PMQs Jeremy Corbyn seized on comments made by the head of NHS England, who told the Health Select Committee “we didn’t get the cash the NHS said it needed” for 2017 - 2019.
“Yesterday at the select committee Simon Stevens made it very clear he doesn’t believe that NHS England has enough money to get through the crisis it is facing”, Corbyn said.
The Labour leader also challenged the prime minister over promises she has made over “parity of esteem” for mental health in the NHS, saying 40% of mental health trusts have had their budgets cut.
May said she was investing more in mental health services, especially in the number of children’s beds.
A recent report found only half of mental health trusts had received increases in their budgets since the government pledged to pump more money into the sector.