Wednesday, March 28, 2007

NHS deficit worse than thought

The true scale of the NHS cash crisis is five times worse than ministers have claimed, new figures revealed yesterday.

The NHS as a whole officially recorded a deficit of £536 million last year, but the Tories claim that the real figure was actually £2.7 billion.

Official Department of Health statistics have revealed that health chiefs spent £74.3 billion in 2005-06 - much more than their cash limit of £71.6 billion.

Tory Health Secretary Andrew Lansley accused ministers of "fiddling the figures" to put a gloss on the problem.

He added that much of the overspend will be carried over to this year, meaning that NHS Trusts will be forced to make further cuts in jobs and services to make ends meet.

The Tories say that the Government balanced its books last year by underspending on things such as future medical negligence claims - which have no immediate financial impact on the NHS.

Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt has faced repeated accusations of 'Del Boy accounting' in an attempt to save her job.

Miss Hewitt has promised to stand down if the service did not break even by the end of March.

Unless the NHS miraculously recovers within the next few days I hope to see Hewitt stand down. The NHS has been totally fucked up by these people. It’s time someone’s career was fucked up because of it.

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