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NHS faces £15m shortfall, warn managers

By Ashleigh Goff

The recession and rising costs will lead to a £15bm shortfall for the NHS in the five years from 2011, a gloomy report from NHS bosses warns.

The horizon-scanning report from the NHS Confederation published today predicts the NHS faces its ‘biggest organisational and financial challenge ever' as funding becomes more restricted.

Rising healthcare costs will mean that even modest increases in funding will be swallowed up, the report says.

The NHS Confederation also warns in the Dealing with the Downturn report that saving money through cutting staff training and reducing the quality of care would backfire, leading to extra costs such as longer waiting lists.

NHS Confederation director of policy Nigel Edwards said the NHS would have to change to overcome the financial challenges posed by the economic conditions.

‘The principles of the NHS still enjoy huge public support but if they are going to remain the same, a great deal will have to change and in doing this there is the opportunity to make the service better as a result.'

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