NHS finances running to stand still
Despite the promise of more cash, the NHS has only been able to balance its books this year because of recruitment difficulties and delays in new services.
According to figures produced by the Healthcare Financial Management Association, any extra money could be swallowed up by existing services and developments already in the pipeline.
Mark Millar, chairman of the HFMA, said: ‘It would be foolish for people to believe that all this new money is going to go into lots of new services – some will be needed just to stay where we are and to meet the commitments to new services that we have already made.’
Over the past year the NHS has been hit by sharply rising drug costs, higher pension contributions and reduced hours for junior doctors.
The figures were published today as NHS finance chiefs gather in London for the HFMA annual conference.