NHS bosses call for a £1 billion bailout from the Treasury to avert a ‘profound financial


  • Plea comes as number waiting for routine procedures hit a record 7.75 million
  • Strikes have cost hospitals more than £700 million this financial year 

NHS bosses have demanded an extra £1 billion to avert a ‘profound financial crisis’ this autumn after a wave of damaging strikes.

The plea to the Treasury came as the number waiting for routine procedures hit a record 7.75 million yesterday – equivalent to almost one in seven people.

NHS chiefs, who blame this year’s doctors’ strikes for the deficit, say they will have to abandon attempts to bring down waiting lists if they cannot control their finances.

Strikes have cost hospitals more than £700 million this financial year, with predictions that the deficit could reach about £1.5 billion if strikes continue in the winter.

Hospitals were forced to pay consultants as much as £6,000 a shift to cover striking colleagues.

NHS bosses have demanded an extra £1 billion to avert a ¿profound financial crisis¿ this autumn after a wave of damaging strikes (Pictured: BMA and UNIT trade unions march last week)

NHS bosses have demanded an extra £1 billion to avert a ‘profound financial crisis’ this autumn after a wave of damaging strikes (Pictured: BMA and UNIT trade unions march last week)

The plea to the Treasury came as the number waiting for routine procedures hit a record 7.75 million yesterday ¿ equivalent to almost one in seven people (Pictured: British Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt)

The plea to the Treasury came as the number waiting for routine procedures hit a record 7.75 million yesterday – equivalent to almost one in seven people (Pictured: British Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt)

Bosses at NHS England have now asked the Treasury for ‘compensation’ for the cost of the strikes, but are yet to receive a definitive answer, The Times reported. 

Matthew Taylor, head of the NHS Confederation, said: ‘If we don’t get money in the autumn statement, we are going to be in a profound financial crisis. And you can forget progress in relation to things like waiting lists.’

Julian Kelly, NHS England’s chief financial officer, told a board meeting last week ‘productivity and efficiency improvements’ had failed to take place amid industrial action.

Insiders warned the next few months could be ‘appalling’ for patients. Thea Stein, chief executive of the Nuffield Trust think tank, said there had been an ‘alarming’ lack of progress clearing the backlog ahead of winter. 

She added: ‘Bringing down record waiting times is a central pledge of both main political parties but achieving this task still looks a long way off.’

Monthly NHS performance data shows pressure has begun building, with waiting times rising in A&E, ambulance calls and cancer care.

Officials warned walkouts by medics, who are demanding a pay rise of up to 35 per cent, have reduced hospital capacity.





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