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The BMJ: “secure the NHS’s future”

The BMJ, the prestigious British Medical Journal, today calls on the next Health Secretary to “secure the NHS’s future”.

England’s NHS is stretched close to breaking point, say the BMJ editors.

The BMJ today calls on the next Secretary of State for Health to “secure the NHS’s future as the best and fairest health service in the world.”

In an open letter, Editor in chief, Dr Fiona Godlee, and colleagues say England’s NHS is stretched close to breaking point - and they set down what they believe is needed to heal the NHS.

They point to current problems, such as virtually flat-line funding in real terms since 2010, the growing demands of an aging population, and extreme cuts to social care, that have “exacerbated the pressures, causing knock-on effects across the service.”

As a result, waiting times for treatment are the longest for many years, while staff morale in many parts of the service is at rock bottom because of real terms pay cuts and the relentless workload, they write.

Patient…

More Tory myths on welfare

An indicator of the squeeze on hospitals is the increased number of Trusts in financial difficulty.   Five years ago it was just over 20%.  Now it is over 50%.  More than half the NHS Trusts are running a deficit.  It amounts to £800 million in total. 
The origins of these deficits is not hard to find. Demand on the NHS has been growing yet funding has increased by just 0.9% per year.  With complex reorganisation, cuts in spending on social care of around 20%, the burden on the NHS has never been greater.  Little wonder then that there are stark warnings that the system is at breaking point.   
The projected figures are stark.  It is estimated that there will be a funding gap of £30 billion for the NHS by 2020.  None of the political parties have really demonstrated how they would fill this gap. But the Conservatives pretend there is no problem that can;t be solved according to Mr Cameron 'by efficiency savings'.    There has already been £20 billion taken out of the NHS over …