Hospitals needed Government bailout funds
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Last year, more than half a billion pounds in Government bailouts were paid to the NHS.
The National Audit Office report found there was growing stress on NHS trusts and warned the situation was “not sustainable”. 31 hospitals required extra money just to maintain services in 2013/14 – up from 14 the previous year.
The Auditors found concerns over the financial sustainability of NHS England, which is struggling to cope with ever-rising demand. The NHS as a whole is facing a £30bn deficit by 2020. Simon Stevens, NHS England’s chief executive, last month warned the NHS would need an extra £8bn in Government funding by the end of the decade to haul itself out of the red. Financial pressures on the health services are being caused by an aging population, a growing population and the possibilities of new treatments.
The NAO also warned that there was still “considerable uncertainty” that Government schemes aimed at reducing the pressures and costs to the health service – including pooling some NHS and local government funding to pay for better social care – would succeed.
The NAO report concluded that it would not be sustainable for the NHS to continue relying on regular bailouts from Government and that a long-term solution was needed to guarantee “value for money” to taxpayers.