Ian Austin – 2014 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Ian Austin on 2015-01-15.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the effect the four per cent year-in-year efficiency savings requirement has had on (a) staffing levels, (b) patient care and (c) waiting times in NHS trusts.

Dr Daniel Poulter

The 2010 Spending Review protected health funding in real terms. However, in order to continue to meet rising demands from an ageing population while improving services, NHS Leaders estimated that up to £20 billion of efficiency savings would be required over the four years from 2011-12 to 2014-15.

The NHS is on track to deliver these efficiency savings, having reported around £15 billion of efficiencies in the first three years, all of which are being reinvested into frontline care and have enabled the NHS to continue to meet rapidly rising demands whilst improving the quality of care.

There are now over 17,200 more professionally qualified clinical staff since May 2010 including:

– over 9,000 more doctors;

– over 3,300 more nurses, midwives and health visitors.

In contrast, the number of central administrative staff has fallen by over 20,200.

The NHS is experiencing high demand for many services from a growing, ageing population with complex health needs. Performance against quality measures remains high. We have put in place robust year-round operational resilience planning and performance management, backed by additional funding, to help the NHS continue to perform against the access standards.