David Cameron "The NHS is safe in my hands" he lied !

But the 103-page document - published at the end of last week - should make worrying reading for everybody.

The news that 30 of the 62 hospital trusts it polices are facing a deficit this year is confirmation - if any were needed - that the NHS is probably in the midst of the most challenging time financially in its history.

Granted, as the organisation looks after those trusts that have yet to achieve foundation status and therefore are probably among the weakest, the scale of the problems are not necessarily indicative of the rest of the health service. But it is impossible to escape from the fact that a perfect storm is brewing - demand is rising and finances are being squeezed. Historically, the NHS has enjoyed a real-terms rise of 4% a year in its budget, but from 2011 to 2015 it is going up by 0.1% a year. 

That is 13 times less than its previous tightest four-year settlement - in the late 1970s. And a whopping 33 times less than it was on average during the Thatcher and Major years - a period when the NHS is traditionally thought to have been starved of resources.

More on this story here.

David Cameron said the NHS is safe in his hands as he brought the annual Conservative conference to an end. He promised "no more pointless and disruptive reorganisations". Instead, change would be "driven by the wishes and needs of NHS professionals and patients". 

4 October 2006 here.


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