MEP’S DISMAY AFTER NHS DECLARES £1.6 BILLION DEFICIT
News that NHS trusts throughout the UK have racked up a £1.6 billion deficit has been greeted with dismay by Ukip health spokesman Louise Bours.
A report from health regulator Monitor and the Trust Development Authority (TDA) also warns the trusts expect the full financial year deficit to be £2.2 billion – the highest since records began.
The deficits have been blamed on overspending on agency staff and management consultants and the delayed transfer of care – where medically fit patients cannot leave hospital because the care they need is not yet in place.
Ms Bours, Ukip MEP for the North West, said: “This should worry anyone who cares about the future of the NHS.
“Some hospitals are warning that they are facing the frightening prospect of being unable to pay for their staff.
“It’s true that the health service is paying some agency staff at ridiculously high rates which it clearly cannot afford, and this simply has to stop.
“If the NHS as a whole ends up with a £2.2 billion deficit in this financial year alone, surely now is also the time to question why over 50,000 of its staff earn more than £100,000 a year – none of which are the nurses, ambulance drivers, cleaners or porters.
“That amounts to £5 billion in those high salaries alone and I surely can’t be the only one to notice that sum would cover the predicted annual deficit twice over.
“The problem seems to be an inability to realise that the most important people in the health service are the clinical trained staff, and not the suits upstairs.
“I have said before that the economic gulf between what we pay our vital frontline NHS staff and who I consider the far less vital administrators who sit supposedly ‘above’ them never fails to amaze me.”
NOTE TO EDITORS
“NHS deficit soars to £1.6bn”