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Huge NHS cuts proposed to counter £800m deficit

CUTS: NHS

IT'S BEEN reported that hospitals will have to be closed and beds cut as part of a series of money-saving cuts across the NHS in England.

A new report from The King's Fund think tank has warned that the number of hospital beds could destabilise services that were already "stretched to their limits" after the winter.

Community services were also reportedly "feeling the strain" and could not currently cope with an increase in workload, it said.

Speaking on the possible impending cuts, King's Fund Chief Executive, Chris Ham said that the NHS cannot “realistically” cut the number of beds when this winter had shown that they were needed, but certain cuts will be necessary.

"We think it is necessary to do because if you're not willing to do go through that process and support plans of this kind, essentially you are colluding as politicians in the continuation of unsafe services," he said.

"So politicians need to step up to the plate and be brave."

The cuts could include a 44 per cent reduction in inpatient bed days in south-west London and a cut in hospitals in north-west London from nine to five. Hospital beds in Dorset could also be from 1,810 to 1,570.

NHS trusts have reported a £886m deficit for the first nine months of the financial year.

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