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NHS England boss predicts funding pressure

NHS England boss predicts funding pressure

The head of the NHS in England  said it is not getting the £10 billion extra it needs over the next five years to keep up with demand.

Simon Stevens told the parliamentary health committee that it was getting just £8 billion between now and 2020-21, instead of the £10 billion Prime Minister Theresa May said it was getting.

He appeared at yesterday’s committee hearing into NHS finances.

Mr Stevens told MPs the NHS in England  is only getting the money it asked for in 2016-17 and 2020-21.

He predicted that 2018-19 will be the “most pressured year for us”  because of  ‘negative per person’ funding.

However on Monday the Prime Minister said NHS England had been given an extra £2 billion on top of the money needed for its five-year NHS Forward View.

She said: “We have given the NHS more than the extra money they said they wanted for their five-year plan.”

The inquiry  was launched after  the head of NHS Providers Chris Hopson  warned  that  the NHS faces “stark choices”.

He told committee chair Dr Sarah Wollaston that unless funding was increased the NHS should make choices ‘however undesirable they may be’ such as rationing access to care, cutting the workforce or closing services.

The committee heard evidence last week from NHS Clinical Commissioners chief executive Julie Wood.

She told the committee: “The commissioning system is under significant pressure.” Last year 31 CCGs were in deficit, with 39 this year, she said.

“We are just about holding our own,” she told the inquiry.

Commissioners were “already having to juggle and make prioritisation decisions,” she explained.

Mrs May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn clashed over funding of the NHS during Prime Minister’s Question Time today. 

Mr Corbyn claimed the government is taking the NHS to the “worst crisis in its history.”

He said the funding crisis is “leaving the NHS on its knees.”

However Mrs May said more patients were getting treatment and the number  of doctors and nurses are increasing.

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Simon Stevens tells MPs NHS is facing financial pressures over the next five years.