- Ministers accuse health managers of exaggerating problem with funding
- By 2020 the NHS should receive £10billion but experts say its not enough
- Chris Hopson, CEO of NHS Providers, said ‘Jeremy Hunt’s vision for a seven-day NHS would be ‘impossible’ to deliver on the current funding’
Ben Spencer Medical Correspondent For The Daily Mail
Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, says the NHS will reach breaking point without more money, sparking a bitter row with health ministers who say they have already pledged enough
A bitter row broke out last night after hospital bosses claimed the NHS will no longer be able to provide the services patients expect without more cash.
The head of the NHS Providers organisation, which represents hospital trusts, warned that the NHS was under the greatest pressure in a generation – and will reach breaking point without more money.
But ministers hit back – saying they have already agreed to provide the billions of extra pounds demanded by NHS England and accusing health managers of exaggerating the problem.
Some £4billion in additional funding has been given to the NHS this year, and by 2020, it will be getting an extra £10billion a year.
But in a growing political row about the future of the NHS, hospital leaders said the funding was insufficient – and if more is not provided, they will be forced to start cutting jobs, merging units and closing services.
Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, said: ‘We can no longer provide the quality of service (or) meet the standards on the money we have available.’
And he said Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s vision for a seven-day NHS would be ‘impossible’ to deliver on the current level of funding.
Junior Doctors handing their petition against the new contracts to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt
Mr Hopson said ‘Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s vision for a seven-day NHS would be “impossible” to deliver on the current level of funding’
‘Despite the incredibly hard work of NHS staff we are under the greatest pressure that we have been for a generation,’ Mr Hopson told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.
‘We have now got hospital trusts having to close services, we have also got trusts who are saying that the only way to make the money add up is to cut the workforce. Something has to give.’
NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens last year drew up a five-year financial plan, in which he predicted the health service would be £30billion in deficit by 2020. But he said that if the Government provided an extra £10billion a year by then, the NHS could fill the remaining gap by being more efficient.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd said the Government had provided the money requested.
She said: ‘The Health Secretary and the Government consulted with Simon Stevens and asked him about what scale of money was necessary – we’ve delivered on that money.’
Labour MP Margaret Hodge, former chairman of the public accounts committee, today warns that the NHS is wasting billions through botched IT projects and paying too much for basic supplies.
Andrew Marr (left) and Home Secretary Amber Rudd appearing on the BBC One current affairs programme after she argues they have provided the money NHS England requested
Writing for the Daily Mail, she said her committee’s investigations had revealed that civil servants simply did not care.
A Government spokesman said last night: ‘We are giving the NHS the £10 billion it asked for to fund its own plan for the future – including almost £4billion this year to transform services and improve standards of care.
‘We know the NHS is under pressure because of our ageing population, but we rightly expect the service to continue to ensure that patients get treated quickly.’
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