Commenting in response to the National Audit Report on the financial sustainability of the NHS, BMA council chair Dr Mark Porter said:
“This report should ring alarm bells – we’ve known that the NHS has been under enormous pressure for some time, but this analysis shows that things are steadily getting worse and that financial pressure is having an impact on access to services and quality of care.
“This is especially worrying in light of reports that the NHS may not receive much needed additional funding in week’s autumn statement.
“The fact that measures put in to help ease the financial situation have actually made it worse for a number of trusts is particularly concerning. As the report highlights, not only have ministers robbed Peter to pay Paul and moved money designated for longer-term investment into day-to-day spending, they have also strayed into uncharted territory, with many plans to close the funding gap untested and unachievable.
“With services struggling to keep up with demand, waiting times too high and a shortage of staff and resource, we desperately need a plan to put the NHS on a sustainable, long-term footing. The NHS is already the most efficient health service in the world - further efficiency savings alone simply will not be enough to plug the gap.”