STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

NHS patients may face widescale charges, warns financial thinktank

Health budget must rise, or patient fees increase and services diminish, public finance institute warns ministers in bleak assessment of ‘short-term’ pledges

Ministers will have to consider charging patients for seeing a GP, attending A&E, and using the food, power and water of hospitals, unless better long-term solutions for funding the NHS can be found, public finance experts have warned. Contributions towards the cost of treatments and patients taking out health insurance are among other options that must be on the table if the comprehensive spending review in November fails to address the issue, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (Cipfa) says in a briefing.

The document says that the hope of NHS leaders to save £22bn over five years to 2020-21 is optimistic and does not take account of David Cameron’s pledge to increase seven-day services nor of the introduction of the new national living wage.  Other general aspirations, such as making the UK a “world leader” in tackling cancer and dementia and raising spending on mental health, have not been explicitly costed either, Cipfa says.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/aug/05/nhs-patients-may-face-widescale-charges-warns-financial-thinktank

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Filed under: A&E, GP's, Hospital, NHS, ,

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