Statement from NHA co-leader Dr Clive Peedell reacting to news that hospitals have been told to only fill vacancies “where essential” in order to save money because of the NHS financial crisis:
"It's very serious but hardly surprising that NHS trusts have been told to fill only essential vacancies due to 'almost unprecedented' finances and 'unaffordable' plans [http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/aug/04/nhs-told-to-fill-vacancies-only-where-essential-due-to-looming-funding-crisis; http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/nhs-hospitals-told-not-to-fill-vacancies-as-cash-crisis-bites-10436265.html].
The National Health Action Party has consistently been warning that the NHS is on a cliff edge and that underfunding threatens to push it over. NHA boss Simon Stevens asked for an extra £8bn for the NHS, and George Osborne allocated this in the summer budget. It's still unclear when this money will be made available, but it is very clear that this amount is totally inadequate as it assumes the NHS is able to make £22 billion of efficiency savings. Even senior figures at NHS England, as well as leading health think tanks, now agree with us that these so-called savings are unfeasible. The NHA Party gave fourteen warnings about this before the general election, but they went unheeded. [http://nhaparty.org/nha-party-vindicated-over-warnings-that-nhs-will-miss-22bn-efficiency-savings-target/].
If the NHS can't afford to appoint the staff it needs, that has serious implications for patient care and patient safety. The Tory pledge that the NHS is safe in its hands is now seen for the lie that it is."