Restrictions forced on NHS spending13th November 2008
Ministers have warned NHS organisations that they will be allowed to spend only £400m of a forecast surplus over the next financial year of £1.7bn.
They have also been told that they will not get the full increase in resources pledged to them by the Treasury.
The spending restrictions come after warnings for the period after 2010 that the NHS should expect its funding to grow by between just 1.5 and 2% compared with the 6.7% promised by the Treasury in its comprehensive spending review for the years 2008/09 to 2010/11.
The Department of Health will also look at clawing back some of the allocations to primary care trusts.
Last year it saved £870m by cutting allocation increases and next year that could be £950m.
The move could see PCTs scaling down some of its service plans while hospital trusts may have to reduce non-clinical staff bills by freezing posts or redundancies.
NHS Confederation policy director Nigel Edwards said: "We have just put £500bn in the banks and we can't pretend that didn't happen. It's about how (the DH and SHAs manage it. That will be a key test.
"Any feeling that people have been top-sliced or raided will represent a potential loss of trust. Next time people are told to make a surplus, it will be less easy to persuade clinicians this is a good idea."
The Department of Health said that no details on next year's financial arrangements would be available until the Treasury published its pre-Budget report.
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Title: Restrictions forced on NHS spending
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 9192
Date Added: 13th Nov 2008