Commenting on the report from the National Audit Office on the financial sustainability of the NHS, Prof John Appleby, Chief Economist of the Nuffield Trust health think-tank, said:
“The only conclusion one can draw from the NAO’s findings is that at present there simply isn’t enough money in the system for the NHS. Their report echoes what we have pointed out numerous times, that the Health Service has gone into the current financial year in a considerably worse position than it expected to, in terms of both money and its ability to meet waiting time targets. In addition, the £669 million overspend projected for the end of the current financial year masks the fact an extra £1.8 billion has been pumped into the Health Service. That money was originally intended to help Trusts change the way they deliver services to patients, but has ended up being almost entirely used to bail out overspent hospitals.
“The current efforts to improve productivity will probably yield results in the long term, but the short-term pressures are becoming overwhelming