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RCEM response to Budget 2020

11 March 2020

Responding to the 2020 Budget, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Dr Katherine Henderson said: “This is a welcome funding boost at a time of national need. This is by no means a cure-all for the difficulties emergency care services have been faced with, even before the outbreak of Covid-19, but there are actions that will certainly help.

“Most welcome is the change in pension taxation rules that will allow senior doctors to work additional hours for the NHS without being financially penalised for it. The long-term solution is still to ensure we have enough clinicians so that others do not have to take on extra work, but this is a significant rule change that should make a difference in the short term.

“An extra 5 million GP appointments would help ease some pressure on Emergency Departments, and recruitment of nurses is vital, but money to build new hospitals would be better spent in ensuring our current ones are physically fit for purpose going into the next decade.

“There is also no real action on social care, and this must be addressed in the long run, but at this incredibly challenging time for the health service, the Government commitment to giving the NHS whatever it needs to tackle Covid-19 is sensible, pragmatic and appreciated.”


Key announcements from the Budget


  • £200m additional investment for life science sector.
  • Increasing the NHS surcharge for immigrants will rise to £620m although there will be a discount for children.
  • An announcement of 6bn further funding for the NHS, aimed at hiring 50,000 nurses, GPs and building the 40 new hospitals outlined in the Conservative manifesto.
  • The tapered annual allowance will be raised by £90,000 – to £200,000.
  • A commitment to 50 million more GP surgery appointments.


  • £5bn emergency fund for the NHS to support Coronavirus.
  • Government to provide £150m to support IMF’s coronavirus relief efforts.
  • £1.4bn to be invested in science institute researching coronavirus.
  • NHS will get whatever funding it needs to tackle coronavirus — be it “millions or billions”.
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