Jeremy Hunt Told To ‘Get A Grip’ After Saying NHS Must Find £22bn In Savings

 Chris Ham, Chief Executive of The King’s Fund, said meeting demand was “impossible” with current NHS funds, and that Hunt’s approach “misses the point”:

“It is becoming clear that senior politicians do not yet fully understand the impact on patients of the huge pressures facing the NHS. The view from the top of government appears to be that the NHS has been given the extra money it asked for and should deliver what is expected of it”, he said.

“But this misses the point that demand for services is rising rapidly and the NHS is currently halfway through the most austere decade in its history.”

He warned that healthcare was at a “pivotal time” and that funding targets are being missed “all year round”.

“This reflects the impossible task of continuing to meet rising demand for services and maintain standards of care within current funding constraints”, he said.

The government’s claim that the NHS will receive an additional £10 billion by 2020 was criticised in a recent select committee report, which found some of of the cash would merely be shifted between areas of the heath service.

Yesterday the head of the body representing NHS trusts warned that the savings some areas had been told to find by 2021 were “so aggressive” that entire hospitals could also be closed.

First to be axed will be maternity wards and accident and emergency units, as part of 44 “sustainability and transformation plans” that will be submitted to NHS England this week.

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