GP referrals to hospital increased 6% last year but budget rose only 2-3%, King’s Fund hears

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 21 July 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g4700
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

The NHS is heading for a financial crisis and nobody has any clear ideas how to avert it, a breakfast meeting at the King’s Fund heard on 17 July.

Richard Murray, director of policy at the fund, said that pessimism among NHS finance directors was “unremitting.” Measured against waiting time and accident and emergency targets, he said that performance was weakening across the board but that no part of the NHS was “absolutely terrible.” A crisis had been avoided last winter, he added, but the usual easing of pressures in spring and summer was not apparent. And of 20 cancer targets, 19 were worse this year than last.

Murray said that he found this slightly surprising because the NHS …

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