The NHS will be given an extra £5.4bn over the next six months to continue the response to coronavirus and tackle the backlog caused by the pandemic.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) announced the funding and said £1bn of the amount would be specifically for clearing the waiting lists faced by patients due to Covid-19, while £2.8bn will be allocated for costs such as better infection control to continue to protect against the virus.
A further £478m would go towards discharging patients from hospitals to free up beds.
The prime minister, Boris Johnson, said: “The NHS was there for us during the pandemic – but treating Covid patients has created huge backlogs.
“This funding will go straight to the frontline, to provide more patients with the treatments they need but aren’t getting quickly enough.
“We will continue to make sure our NHS has what it needs to bust the Covid backlogs and help the health service build back better from the worst pandemic in a century.”
The health secretary, Sajid Javid, said: “We know waiting lists will get worse before they get better as people come forward for help, and I want to reassure you the NHS is open, and we are doing what we can to support the NHS to deliver routine operations and treatment to patients across the country.”