NHS facing 'mission impossible next year'

Ebony Scott
March 21, 2017

"NHS leaders have to be realistic about what can be delivered next year".

Its report - titled Mission Impossible?

NHS Providers also estimated that the extra cost of delivering key performance targets in areas such as A&E and routine operations came to a staggering £2.4bn - £3.1bn in the next year.

Trusts are now grappling with a 2.1 per cent increase in costs such as staff salaries, he said, while preparing for a funding increase next year of only 1.3 per cent compared to 3.6 per cent this year.

The NHS budget is increasing this Parliament, but not by as much as the health service has traditionally got.

The organisation warned that the combination of these elements against a sharp reduction in NHS funding increased - down from 3.6% to 1.3% in 2017-18 - meant that meeting targets with limited resources was turning into a completely unattainable task.

Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour's shadow health secretary, said: "This unprecedented warning from trusts is a new low for this Government's disgraceful handling of our NHS".

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For the first time, the trusts have warned - even before the financial year begins next month - that hundreds of thousands of patients will not be treated in A&E within the government's target of four hours and will have to wait longer than the 18 weeks stipulated for surgery.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said more money was being put into the NHS, and that the Budget had set aside funding for social care which would help ease the pressure on hospitals.

It noted that the 2016 NHS staff survey showed only 30% of staff agreed that "there are enough staff at this organisation for me to do my job properly", with 47% disagreeing.

"In a number of local systems, we are now putting patient safety at unacceptable levels of risk", it stated.

"NHS trusts are treating more patients than ever before and performance remains good by worldwide standards", he said.

Writing on a blog for the NHS Providers coalition of foundation trusts, chief executive Chris Hopson said many hospital, ambulance and mental health trusts believe that they "can't deliver" the financial demands imposed by the government over the next financial year. "So when those trusts say that they can't deliver what's now being asked for next year, it is time to sit up and listen".

"But we now have a body of evidence showing that, with resources available, the NHS can no longer deliver what the NHS constitution requires of it".

Other reports by GizPress

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