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The £850m sum emerged in part from figures supplied to the magazine by all but five of England’s 237 NHS trusts [Image: Peter Byrne/PA].

The £850m sum emerged in part from figures supplied to the magazine by all but five of England’s 237 NHS trusts [Image: Peter Byrne/PA].

The news media need to change their language here – the NHS is not overspending; it is under-funded.

If the NHS in England is going to overshoot its budget by £850 million, then it is because those budgets are not high enough.

Let’s not forget, also, that the Tory plan was always to cut the NHS by £20 billion, so the current intention to provide £8 billion of extra funding still implies a cut of £12 billion.

The only justifiable reason for a cut in health service funding is if it doesn’t need the money. And I’m not seeing that.

If Jeremy Hunt wants to make savings, then he should cut private health companies, and their profit motive, out of the NHS – but he’ll never do that because it is against his ideology.

Other than that, he should be working on ensuring that the cost of treatments falls – but, again, he’ll never do that because it opposes the profit motive and is against his ideology.

While there remains a clinical need for NHS funding to be higher than Tory budgets, that money will have to be found.

Lives depend on it.

NHS hospital trusts are on course to overshoot their budgets by £850m this year, more than three times the deficit health service bosses said was acceptable, research has shown.

Such an overspend would be a setback for NHS England’s chief executive, Simon Stevens, and Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, as they have pledged to ensure that trusts end the year no more than £250m in the red.

The impending deficit, uncovered by the Health Service Journal, threatens to derail the agreement the NHS reached with the Treasury in July to “reset” the service’s disastrous finances this year in return for receiving £3.8bn upfront of its planned £8bn extra funding.

Source: NHS trusts on course to overshoot budgets by £850m, figures suggest | Society | The Guardian

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