Report urges rethink on seven-day service

The NHS cannot meet demand with current levels of funding — and politicians must be honest with the public about the shortfall.

That is the warning from the King’s Fund, which has urged the Government to reconsider its manifesto pledge to deliver ‘seven-day services’.

An analysis of health service finances revealed that providers and commissioners recorded a deficit of some £1.85bn last financial year, despite ‘stringent financial controls and short-term measures implemented by the Government and NHS bodies to reduce costs’.

Experts from the think-tank said the current budget is not enough to maintain standards of care — and that the pace or scale of transformation, or cuts, needed to meet the Government’s targeted saving of £22bn by 2020/21 is unachievable.

Doctors have warned that ‘failure to invest now will result in a disaster in the future both financially and in terms of patient health and care’.

Senior policy adviser at the King’s Fund Helen McKenna, one of the authors of the report, said: ‘Politicians need to be honest with the public about what the NHS can offer with the funding allocated to it.’

Full story at The BMA 20 July 2016