NHS has no way of knowing if it is on track to meet financial targets, expert says

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 24 October 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d6837
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

The NHS faces a hard road to meet its financial targets, with no clear signposts to guide it or milestones by which to measure its progress, a breakfast meeting at the health policy think tank the King’s Fund in London was told on 18 October.

Although the NHS is spared the deep cuts faced by other government departments, zero growth in cash terms translates into budget reductions in real terms, meaning that the same job will need to be done on £20bn (€23bn; $32bn) less over four years. But a lack of accessible measures makes it impossible to say whether this process is on track, said the King’s Fund’s chief economist, John Appleby.

“The Department of Health’s public relations for the productivity drive has been …

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