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Could this be the start of wholesale change in how the NHS and social care operate?

The health service has been promised “whatever it needs” to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, but government spending choices reveal possible long-term changes to funding and policy

By Graham Atkins  

Photo: Aaron Chown/PA Wire/PA Images

Rishi Sunak’s budget feels years, rather than weeks in the past. But one thing has remained constant since the chancellor delivered his first set piece—government commitment to provide the NHS with whatever funds it requires.

Having initially promised the health service “whatever it needs, whatever it costs” on 11th March, the government made this official when Matt Hancock issued a ministerial direction allowing the Department of Health to “spend in excess of formal Departmental Expenditure Limits”—effectively providing a blank cheque.

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