The NHS is to receive an extra £33.9bn a year by 2023/24 under the new NHS Funding Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech.
The bill will enshrine in law the commitment to additional funding for the health service.
Hospital car parking charges are also set to be scrapped for people in greatest need, such as those with disabilities and parents of sick children staying overnight.
David Hare, chief executive of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN), said the extra funding represents an opportunity to make real improvements in the care patients receive.
“We want to see a laser like focus on the issues that matter to patients including cutting waiting times for key NHS services across hospital and primary care,” he added. “We think that improving productivity and efficiency will be central to securing better outcomes for patients and value for money for the taxpayer.”
A Health Service Safety Investigations Bill (HSSIB) is also being introduced, which aims to improve patient safety across the healthcare system.
The recent NHS Patient Safety Strategy called for a “whole systems approach” to patient safety covering both the NHS and independent sector.
Hare said it is vital that the bill’s remit includes the independent healthcare sector so that the new body has the maximum possible impact in improving patient safety. “At the second reading of the HSSIB earlier in the autumn, parliamentarians sent a clear message that the independent sector should be covered by the bill and we hope the government takes this on board,” he added.