MPs and health professionals ‘not confident’ in NHS savings plan

More than eight in 10 healthcare professionals are not confident the NHS can achieve a £22bn savings target, according to a survey.

The poll of more than 400 people found 85% were either “not very confident” or “not at all confident” the health service can hit the target by 2020.

The results come as MPs cast doubt on government NHS funding commitments and the achievability of the “efficiency challenge”, where £22bn needs to be saved by 2020-21 to close the gap between resources and patient needs.

The survey, carried out ahead of the UK Health Show conference in September, found just one in 10 respondents were at least “fairly confident” that recommendations in Lord Carter’s review, which include procurement improvements, would be achieved.

More than four in five respondents rated current NHS performance positively, though 56% were pessimistic about the future and a third disagreed that commissioning of services was carried out efficiently and effectively. More than a quarter expect commissioning to get worse.

Meanwhile, the health committee has said the government’s 2015 Spending Review claim that the NHS will receive an additional £10bn above inflation by 2020-21 is inaccurate and that spending will actually increase between 2015-16 and 2020-21 by £4.5bn. This is mainly due to reductions in spending on health by other organisations such as local authorities.

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Economy, General, Procurement