Intended for healthcare professionals


Growing pressure on NHS threatens frontline services

BMJ 2022; 379 doi: (Published 10 October 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;379:o2439
  1. Adrian O'Dowd
  1. London

Several factors indicating serious pressure on the NHS have prompted workforce and financial experts, as well as profession leaders, to warn of troubled times ahead.

NHS England’s chief financial officer, Julian Kelly, disclosed at a board meeting on 6 October that there could be an additional unexpected shortfall of £6bn or £7bn in NHS finances for 2023-24 because of possible further waves of covid-19, higher inflation, and staff pay settlements. This was on top of an already estimated £14bn worth of efficiency savings that have to be found by 2024-25.

This led Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, the body that represents NHS organisations, to warn that a “financial hit of this magnitude will undoubtedly have a very real and hard impact on frontline patient care” and …

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