NHS Plans closures and radical cuts to combat growing deficit in healthcare budget

Investigation by the Guardian and 38 Degrees reveals NHS faces £20bn funding shortfall by 2020-21 if no action is taken

NHS bosses throughout England are quietly drawing up plans for hospital closures, cutbacks and radical changes to the way healthcare is delivered in an attempt to meet spiralling demand and plug the hole in their finances, an investigation by the Guardian and campaign group 38 Degrees has revealed.

Without the changes, the NHS at local level could be facing a financial shortfall of about £20bn by 2020-21 if no action is taken, the research suggests.

The cost-cutting shakeup is being overseen by NHS England, but is already sparking a series of local political battles over the future of services, and exposes the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to fresh criticism after his controversial role in the junior doctors dispute.

Last year’s Conservative manifesto pledged an extra £8bn a year for the NHS by the end of this parliament, as demanded by the NHS chief executive, Simon Stevens, in his 2014 “five-year forward view”. But Stevens made clear that was the minimum money needed, and radical reforms to the way healthcare is delivered would also be necessary to make the NHS hit its budgets.

For full article see https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/aug/26/nhs-plans-radical-cuts-to-fight-growing-deficit-in-health-budget 26 August 2016.