The Chancellor has been warned by NHS chiefs that unless £8bn is found to fund Covid, then they will have to cut care. The Treasury has been accused of trying to pay for the pandemic from the regular Budget for the NHS.
NHS chiefs said that this will delay the care of patients who are on very long waiting lists, and Rishi Sunak has been accused of not meeting the full cost of care for over 8,000 hospital Covid patients, The Times reported.
NHS providers are worried the “Chancellor and the prime minister are going to renege on their commitment to cover all the NHS’s Covid-19 costs.”
NHS Providers chief executive, Chris Hopson said that the decision to give NHS staff just a 1% pay rise, instead of an “agreed assumption of a 2.1%” proves this.
He has claimed that Ministers are “clearly now looking for other ways to meet those costs, including robbing mainstream NHS budgets.
The Chancellor has been told that he must extend support for the NHS until September, or by 1 April services could be cut which will affect 4.5m who are on waiting lists.
Hopson said that this is the “absolute worst case scenario” if there is no extra Covid financial help in the next financial year.
He added that this “would leave the NHS with an unthinkable £7bn to £8nn gap for the first half of next year.”
A government spokeswoman said, “We have been clear that we will give the NHS what it needs. We’ve invested £63bn this year and £22bn next year.”