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NHS facing a '£15bn funding shortfall'


A predicted £15 billion funding shortfall will make the next 10 years ‘extremely challenging’ for the NHS, a report has claimed.

The NHS Confederation’s report - Dealing with the downturn: The greatest ever leadership challenge for the NHS? - said the next two years would be ‘tough but manageable’.

But the organisation, which represents 90% of all NHS bodies, warned the impact of the recession and rising costs meant ‘the position beyond 2010/11 is very different and extremely challenging’.

NHS Confederation chief executive Steve Barnett said: ‘If [the NHS] does not prepare itself for real-terms reductions, then the mistakes of the past could be repeated and shortages in funding will translate to the kind of across-the-board cuts which could see waiting lists lengthen, standards fall and dissatisfaction with the service grow among patients and staff.’

The Department of Health said the NHS budget for 2009/10 has increased in real terms by 7.5% on last year, to stand at £102.7 billion.

And it said next year would see a further hike, this time by 1.6% in real terms, to put the budget at £105.8 billion.

Dr Hamish Meldrum, chairman of the British Medical Association, agreed that difficult choices would have to be made, and called for a reversal of recent policy which encourages a market environment in healthcare in the English NHS.


Readers' comments (5)

  • More cuts in the NHS will lead to further under-staffing on ward which are already running at dangerously low levels in most areas.

    More cut backs leads to poorer care and then litigation, which ends up cost more.

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  • When I started nursing over 30 year ago, I don't rememember the NHS being short of money then. We had loads of staff and the care the patients got were superb. Over the years more and more top jobs have become available eating away at our funds, therefore cutting back on nursing staff. I work hard as a band 6 and feel I deserve every penny I earn. It's so annoying to think there are people sitting behind a desk earning bonus's for thinking up yet another useless paper exercise. No wonder it has a shortfall in funds as the NHS couldn't run a knees up in a brewery!

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  • I agree with the last comment. I am just returning to nursing after being away for 9 years and can't believe how bureaucratic it has become. It seems that paperwork comes before patients and more and more is expected of nurses. If the management want to look at wastage in the NHS then ask the nurses because they see it on a day to day basis and probably have some worthwhile ideas on how to save money. The heating being left on when it is warm outside is the starting point! We have all these government plans to improve the patient experience but without the staff to implement it will all be a waste of time.

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  • Aww, what will all the managers and trust executives do for their working lunches and expensive lifestyles now??

    Oh thats right, they'll carry on as normal and screw us nurses over again!

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  • I agree with the above comments it always seems to be the clinincal/patient caring section of the NHS that suffers, while the number of pen pushers increases to keep the remaining nurses in check.

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