Health services in the region face a yearly £550million budget black hole unless savings are made.
An NHS savings blueprint for Hertfordshire and west Essex, published today, predicts the NHS will face the annual funding gap – equivalent to one sixth of its total budget – by 2021.
The document, entitled A Healthier Future, is a joint initiative between the NHS and county councils to lay out the direction of healthcare in the area.
The four priorities isolated in the report are promoting healthier lifestyles, improving healthcare provided at home, making hospitals solely for specialist and emergency use, and improving the efficiency of health and care services.
Tom Cahill, the chief executive of the Hertfordshire Partnership Foundation NHS University Trust, is leading the organisations working to deliver A Healthier Future.
He said: “In Hertfordshire and west Essex, we spend about £3.1 billion a year on health and social care.
“Faced with increasing demands for services, we expect to have a funding gap of more than £550 million a year by 2021 unless we take action now to improve our own personal health and the way that health and care services work together.”
Full story in Hertfordshire and Essex Observer 12th December