In three months (between April and June 2015) NHS trusts have accumulated a £445m deficit, Monitors quarterly report revealed, and branded by a BMA chair as “staggering”.
Dr Ian Wilson, BMA representative body chair, said: “These figures are staggering. The NHS is facing a funding crisis the likes of which we have never seen.
“Despite what politicians’ claim, NHS funding has not kept up with rising patient demand and the increased cost of delivering care. The extra funding promised by the government is barely enough for the NHS to stand still. The result is a health service that is bucking at the seams, relying on emergency bailouts and with no real solution to the £22bn funding gap facing it.
“With winter just around the corner, there is a real risk to the quality of patient care as pressure on services and staff will only intensify.”
This comes after Maureen Baker, chief executive of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) called on the Chancellor in England George Osborne to announce a costed plan to ensure general practice receives 11% of the overall NHS budget, including “an immediate injection of £750m of additional core funding in the next financial year”.
It has been 26 weeks since the government promised that £8 billion would be spent on the NHS before 2020, yet it is still unclear when and how the money will be given.
“The government must wake up and take action,” Wilson continued. He said that “we need a long-term funding plan rather than a short-term fixes in order to secure the future of the NHS and stop it from lurching from one crisis to another”.