Steep energy bill hikes are predicted to have kept inflation painfully high in figures for December 2012 due out later.
Most economists predict that benchmark Consumer Prices Index will remain at 2.7% for the third month in a row in December after a wave of energy tariff hikes came into effect.
But some experts believe inflation may have even increased further away from the Government's 2% target, highlighting yet more pain for hard-up households.
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Staffing levels and worsening pay are to blame, according to the report by the Health Foundation.