Unrealistic NHS savings targets to result in rationing, report warns

NHS England ‘will struggle’ to save £22bn by 2020 and is likely to be left with at least a £6n funding gap, a new financial report has concluded.

The Nuffield Trust pointed out that to date hospitals and other NHS providers have achieved ‘savings closer to 2% over the last three years’ rather than the 4% target set out, ‘resulting in an underlying provider deficit in 2015/16 of £3.7bn’.

The think tank points out that for the longer term NHS England is relying on its plans for ‘new models of care’ to curb the growth in activity and cut costs, but said it is ‘highly unlikely’ to materialise as existing funding will need to be directed towards the deficit.

The report said: ‘The NHS in England will struggle to meet the requirement, set by the Five Year Forward View, to save £22 billion by 2020.

Full story in Pulse 5 August 2016