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Home Industry News Budget cuts leave NHS facing ‘greatest ever challenge’

Budget cuts leave NHS facing ‘greatest ever challenge’

25th June 2010

The NHS is facing its “greatest ever challenge” in the wake of cuts to the health service’s budget, managers are being warned.

According to the NHS Confederation, which represents 95 per cent of NHS organisations, government promises to protect frontline services amid an overall funding squeeze will be difficult to keep.

Nigel Edwards, the confederation’s acting chief executive and director of policy, will unveil a report at the group’s annual conference in Liverpool saying that there is “no silver bullet” to steer the health service through the coming cuts.

The NHS has been told to make up to £20 billion in cost savings over the next four years, despite the increasing burden caused by an ageing population and changing lifestyles.

As a result, the confederation has proposed a number of cost-saving strategies, such as moving care closer to home, improving management of long-term conditions, reducing variation in clinical practices and the possibility of strategic mergers.

Mr Edwards said: “Now is the time for everyone working in our health service to rise to the challenge of providing improvements in care while also working more efficiently.”

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