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NHS chief: Urgent decisions needed

The NHS in England needs to take urgent decisions about reorganising hospital and GP care to avoid a growing funding gap, according to its leaders.

In a report, NHS England warns that by 2020-21 the gap between the budget and rising costs could reach £30bn.

The organisation's chief executive, Sir David Nicholson, said services needed to be concentrated in fewer hospitals.

Speaking to the Today programme's Evan Davis Sir David said that "going forward we are facing a whole series of challenges".

"We want to provide a better service" he said, and insisted that this was possible "without spending more money" and put emphasis on the importance of a reconfiguration of services within the NHS.

He said that bat the moment that "pace and nature" of the change that is happening in the NHS at the moment is "simply not quick enough".

"We need to completely change the way that we address this, it is really very urgent that we make these decisions," he added.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Thursday 11 July 2013.

  • 11 Jul 2013