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Friday 28th October 2016

NHS must act now to prepare for shortfall

20th July 2009

The King's Fund and the Institute for Fiscal Studies have warned that the NHS must plan now to prepare for a "funding shortfall" in two years.

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The two think tanks said that although both Labour and the Tories have said they will safeguard health service budgets, this could mean tax increases and cutbacks in other areas.

John Appleby, chief economist at The King's Fund and co-author of the report, said: "The NHS is facing the most significant financial challenge in its history. [It] has enjoyed unprecedented increases in funding since the turn of the century, but those days will soon be over."

"That's why it's crucial that the service does all it can over the next two years to prepare itself for the financial freeze that will take hold over the two coming spending review periods."

The analysis looked at the upcoming spending review points in 2011-12 and 2016-17 and established "good, bad and middling" predictions of funding levels.

However all of the predictions did not meet the targets set out in the report written by Sir Derek Wanless in 2002, which advised that considerable amounts were invested in the health service until 2022.

The shortfall on Sir Derek's "mid-range" predictions to ensure "solid progress" would amount to between £6.4 billion and £32.4 billion by 2017.

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