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9 July 2012 | Kamalpreet Badasha
The NHS has saved £1.5 billion since last year by reducing expenditure on IT projects by £400 million and cutting the numbers of managers, according to the Department of Health (DH).
The increase in savings has led to primary care trusts and strategic health authorities reporting a surplus of £1.6 billion, which is to be made available for spending in 2012 and 2013. The DH added that spending on frontline services has increased by £3.4 billion in cash terms compared with last year.
Health minister Simon Burns said: “Our increases in frontline spending are already showing results – waiting times have been kept low, there are more doctors, the NHS has performed more diagnostic tests and planned operations, and infections have been reduced even further.”
The DH press release said the NHS 2011/12 budget of increased by 0.1 per cent in real terms.
However Public Spending Statistics July 2012, released by HM Treasury and National Statistics, showed NHS spending has reduced by 0.02 per cent. Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said: “We have it in black and white - official confirmation from the government that [prime minister] David Cameron has cut the NHS for the second year in a row, breaking his central election promise. Almost 4,000 nursing jobs are being axed, leaving waiting lists getting longer and the return of patients on trolleys in corridors. We are seeing crude, random rationing across the system, with 125 treatments being stopped or restricted.”