Labour unveils plans for NHS cuts
The report also says an extra £100m in capital funds will be spent upgrading up to 600 GP practices into “training practices” as part of chancellor Alistair Darling’s £3bn attempt to stimulate the economy by bringing forward planned investment from 2010-11 into the next two years.
That investment will be targeted to practices in under-doctored areas.
Mr Darling’s report outlines a package of measures designed to stimulate the economy through the recession, including £12.5bn of consumer tax cuts and a six-year pause on the government’s investment rules which have dictated that it borrow only to invest.
But tax cuts and a growing budget deficit needed to be paid for over the medium term, Mr Darling said, and his report outlines that part of the payback will come in the form of an increase in the public sector “recoverable savings” target for 2010-11 from £30bn to £35bn.
The report explains that the Treasury believes there is scope for part of that to come from the £70bn NHS commissioning budget.
“As PCTs enhance their commissioning skills over the next years they will develop their strategic and financial plans to ensure they unlock cashable value for money improvements across the £70bn of commissioned health services,” the report says.
The report explains that April’s Budget will set out the “value for money impact” expected from world class commissioning as well as “report on the scope to increase efficiency further in the hospital sector through the tariff prices paid by PCTs and progress on extending pricing to new areas of the health service”.
Mr Darling’s report confirms that the years after 2011-12 will see a sharp drop in public sector spending growth. Last year’s comprehensive spending review pledged to increase public sector spending in real terms by an average of 1.9 per cent a year between 2008-09 and 2010-11.
But this month’s report says that between 2011-12 and 2013-14 spending will grow by just 1.2 per cent in real terms.