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Government “confident” all trust deficits will be cleared by 2017


6 January 2016

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Ben Gummer, the under-secretary of state for health and MP for Ipswich, reiterated that the government is “confident we will be able to get hospital trusts into balance next year”.

Ben Gummer, the under-secretary of state for health and MP for Ipswich, reiterated that the government is “confident we will be able to get hospital trusts into balance next year”.

He was questioned yesterday in the House of Commons, where Anna Turley, MP for Redcar, said: “John Appleby, the chief economist at the independent think tank the King’s Fund, said recently that although the Government claim they will get an increase in funding in the NHS, they have ‘in effect, already spent the money’ because of the scale of the hospital deficits.

“In my South Tees area, the deficit for 2014-15 is nearly £17 million. Will the minister accept that the government has totally lost control of NHS finances?”

This comes after, last month, the Labour party deemed the £3.8 billion funding boost announced in the autumn spending review was “more spin than substance” as £2.2 billion would need to cover trust deficits and £1.1 billion would need to fund extra pension costs.

Lord Hunt, a Labour health spokesman, said: “The chancellor actually promised this £3.8 billion for seven-day services and transformation of the health and social care system. The reality is much of it is going to try and clear the deficit.”

However, Gummer (pictured) said that the Conservative party has “provided the money for the NHS that it has asked for” [in the Five Year Forward View] and that “this is money the opposition refused to say they would pledge at the last election.

“The second point to make is that Jim Mackey, the new chief executive of NHS Improvement and one of the best chief executives in the NHS, has said that he will help to get hospital trusts in control next year, and that, with the transformation fund announced by my right hon. friend the secretary of state, we are confident we will be able to get hospital trusts into balance next year,” he added.

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