Hereford & Worcester

NHS Worcestershire trust reveals £200m shortfall

Health bosses in Worcestershire have said they need to find £200m in savings by 2015.

NHS Worcestershire blamed a rise in the elderly population and an increase in the cost of medications and treatments.

Chief Executive Eamonn Kelly said the 20% savings did not necessarily mean cuts to services.

At a public meeting on Friday the board said current levels of spending suggested a budget of £1.1bn would be needed by 2015.

The trust currently manages an annual budget of £900m.

Mr Kelly said: "We know more patients will need care because we've got a growing elderly population.

"We've also got new treatments coming in that we'll want to provide.

"We know the money we will be getting into our system will not be enough to meet those costs, so we will have to meet them in other ways."

He said the predicted shortfall in the county was part of a national problem.

As part of the government's spending review in 2010, Chancellor George Osborne said the NHS would have to find £20bn of savings by 2014.

Mr Kelly said the trust's priority was to minimise the impact on patients.

"We cannot in any way compromise on the quality of care. What we will have to look at is the configuration of services, where they're provided," he added.

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