NHS 'no longer free in 10 years'

An influential think tank has said that the NHS in England could be in a funding crisis before the next general election. The Nuffield Trust has said accounts from 2013/14 show that the system is under "severe financial pressure"

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Report: NHS Trusts 'more than £100m' in the red

The Nuffield Trust said there are an increasing number of NHS trusts in deficit even with hundreds of millions of pounds of additional funding.

Provisional data for 2013/14 suggested that trusts were in a net overall deficit of more than £100 million compared with an overall surplus of £383 million the previous year, it said. And 66 trusts across the country were now in deficit compared to 45 in 2012/13.

Report: NHS Trusts 'more than £100 million' in the red Credit: PA

Andy McKeon, Nuffield Trust senior policy fellow, said: "[The NHS] has now reached a tipping point. Our analysis shows just how poorly placed it is to cope with the squeeze still to come."

But Health Minister Lord Howe said: "These predictions are pessimistic and paint an unrealistic picture... we have taken tough decisions to increase the NHS budget by £12.7 billion over this Parliament."

Nuffield Trust: 'NHS no long free in 10 years'

An influential think tank has said that the NHS in England could be in a funding crisis before the next general election. The Nuffield Trust said accounts from 2013/14 show that the system is under "severe financial pressure"

Nuffield Trust: 'NHS no long free in 10 years' Credit: PA

The independent health charity's latest report Into the Red states the financial strength of NHS trusts is "weak and declining". Meanwhile, more than 100 health and social care leaders raised concerns about the future sustainability of the health and social care systems.

Two-thirds of those polled by the Nuffield Trust said they felt that NHS providers would have to go into deficit in order to provide a high-quality service. And half said they believed the health service would no longer be free at the point of use in a decade.

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