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Public expenditure cuts without ‘precedent’

7 January 2011 - 11:43am

Unprecedented spending cuts in health and social care will test Britain’s services to the limit, says Conservative MP Stephen Dorrell.

The government’s Health Committee, chaired by Mr Dorrell, published its report on public expenditure on 14 December. Mr Dorrell was previously the Secretary of State for Health in the last Conservative government.

The NHS is expected to make ‘efficiency savings’ of £15 to 20 billion, or 4 per cent each year for the next four years. Council funding cuts of about 14 per cent will force social services departments to make savings of 2 to 3.5 per cent a year, according to the report.

‘There is no precedent for efficiency gain on this scale in the history of the NHS,’ said Mr Dorrell. ‘Nor has any precedent yet been found of any healthcare system anywhere in the world doing anything similar.

‘The government's plans for health and social care are based on assumptions which will test these services to the limit,’ he said.

Cuts ‘double whammy’

CSP chief executive Phil Gray said today ‘The CSP is deeply concerned that the “double whammy” of the wholesale reform of the NHS in England combined with the drive to find financial savings on this scale will have a significant impact on patient services.’


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