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NHS is not in “land of milk and honey” with tough choices ahead, warns head of NHS

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i5036 (Published 16 September 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i5036
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. London

The NHS faces tough choices over what services it can continue to provide and controversies about the reality of funding available to it, the head of the NHS in England has said.

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, appearing before the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee on 14 September to discuss NHS finances, gave a frank assessment of some tough years ahead for the NHS despite the government’s often cited additional £10bn (€12bn; $13bn) funding for the service up to 2020.

MPs said that the Department of Health’s accounts1 showed that the NHS was on a “very sticky wicket” in achieving the goals of the Five Year Forward View2 to modernise and improve the NHS.

Stevens said, “The accounts do show we …

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