The NHS is currently facing a shortfall of more than £1 billion to tackle the second wave of COVID-19 in the coming winter and to be able to restart routine operations and diagnostic tests.
Trusts across England face huge gaps in their budget for the rest of the year of up to £20 million each, which they say is hampering winter preparations. NHS England is thought to have been forced to give Trusts and CCGs far less than they calculated they needed to tide them over for the next few months, because the Treasury has given it less to disburse than it requested.
It raises serious questions over the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s pledge to give the NHS whatever resources it needs to tackle the pandemic. The funding gap clearly exposes the chasm between reality and government spin. Ministers promised the NHS would get whatever it needs. They now need to deliver on their promise to avoid a disastrous winter or have a lie exposed.
Professor Robert Arnott
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