Womenz Magazine

NHS faces £8billion crisis and cut in treatments as Tories ‘renege on pandemic vow’

Hospital chiefs fear they may be forced to cut treatments if ministers fail to stump up the cash they promised to cover the costs of Covid-19.

NHS trusts are facing an £8billion shortfall for the next six months.

And they say the Tories may renege on their vow to plug the gap and instead “rob mainstream health budgets”, leaving some non-Covid care starved of cash.

It comes after the Government proposed a below-inflation 1% staff pay rise – despite documents showing it had previous planned on a 2.1% increase.

Chris Hopson, head of NHS Providers which represents trusts, said: “There is no agreement on the NHS 2021/22 budget, 24 days before the financial year starts.

What is your view? Have your say in the comments section

“This is despite the Chancellor and Prime Minister’s assurances the NHS would get what it needs to fight Covid.

“Trusts are worried they may have to start planning cuts to frontline services from April 1 unless negotiations are concluded satisfactorily this week.

“The Government is clearly looking for other ways to meet those costs including robbing mainstream NHS budgets.”

He added: “The NHS still has 15 hospitals worth of Covid inpatients and critical care massively stretched.”

There are 4.5 million people currently on waiting lists, including 224,000 who have been waiting over a year, 150 times more than before the pandemic.

Health managers warned separately yesterday a further six million people needing treatments, such as hip replacements and cataract removals, could be on “hidden” waiting lists.

GP referrals plunged 30% last year, meaning an estimated 5.9 million patients are yet to come forward. And nearly half of those with cancer “red-flag” symptoms have not yet seen a GP.

Thousands more heart disease deaths are also feared after a 25% fall in prescriptions of key drugs and a 44% fall in scans.

The test and trace system was given another £15bn and Mr Hopson said: “They need to do the same for the NHS.”

A Government spokeswoman said: “We will give the NHS what it needs.”

Matt Hancock today ducked an urgent Commons question on the 1% pay offer, sending junior health minister Helen Whately instead.

Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth said: “I am grateful for the minister but where is the Secretary of State?

Related posts

COVID-19 could cause impotence in men, study finds

Alex Williams

Sore Eyes Could Be the First Sign You Have COVID, Study Says

Alex Williams

Small pharmacies are crucial to vaccine distribution. But it could cost them

Alex Williams