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NHS deficits will persist for years, experts warn

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i1170 (Published 25 February 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i1170
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. London

The current deficits that NHS trusts have accrued are likely to exist for several years, health policy experts have told MPs.

The scale of the problem is so great that balancing the books is unlikely in the foreseeable future, MPs on the parliamentary health committee heard during an evidence session for their inquiry into the impact of the government’s comprehensive spending review on health and social care.

Health think tanks that appeared before the committee on 23 February predicted that trusts would struggle to find the £22bn (€28bn; $31bn) in efficiency savings by 2020-21 that the government expects of them, despite the extra money promised for the NHS in last year’s spending review. …

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