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Health to deliver £4.35bn savings in tough Budget

25 March 2010 - 9:10am

Chancellor Alistair Darling warned yesterday the public spending settlement after 2011 will be the 'toughest for decades.'

Public pay settlements will be held at a maximum of one per cent for the two years from 2011.

Of the £11billion new savings required across government by 2012/13, the Department of Health and the NHS will deliver £4.35bn.

Staff sickness absence targeted

Up to £555m will be saved by reducing staff sickness absence in the NHS.

The NHS was set a challenge last December to deliver efficiency savings of £15-20 billion by 2010/13.

Specific measures in the Budget to meet that challenge include

  • saving £2.7bn by 'transforming the lives of those with long-term conditions', through best practice in care planning and case management
  • empowering patients to self-care
  • reducing emergency admissions levels
  • providing more 'efficient, integrated community services'.

Frontline services to be protected

Presenting the last Budget before this year's general election Mr Darling pledged to protect frontline services and confirmed government spending would rise 2.2 per cent above inflation in 2010/11.

He said Labour would honour guarantees to deliver NHS health checks every five years for over 40s and referral to a cancer specialist within two weeks.

He also said money would be available for social care for older people as a result of freezing the inheritance tax threshold for four years.

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