Jan 19, 2018

NHS bail-outs could become new normal, National Audit Office says

Repeated bail-outs to help the NHS cope with pressure on services and finances could become the "New normal", the National Audit Office has said. The NAO said short-term funding had impeded necessary changes to the NHS. The government said the report showed the NHS had made "Significant progress towards balancing the books". "Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, said:"The NHS has received extra funding, but this has mostly been used to cope with current pressures and has not provided the stable platform intended from which to transform services. NHS Providers, which represents NHS trusts, said the report showed the "Growing reliance on one-off measures is not a viable long-term approach to NHS funding". The British Medical Association said the report showed short-term funding was not meeting patients' needs and called for a cross-party agreement on a "Long-term, sustainable funding plan for the NHS". The Nuffield Trust health think tank said the report showed the NHS was in a "Dire financial position" and in "Desperate need of more money".

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