NHS could get worse from 2013, say finance chiefs....

No sooner than the release of news that complaints and litigation cases against UK doctors are on the increase is the warning that care may actually get worse from 2013. That's only about 100 days away, and the public sector pay freeze will be lifted in 6 months time. However, let's dissect this more closely. The news is not based on evidence that care is on the decline nor that it will actually be reduced.

This report is the work of speculation from 45 finance directors of NHS trusts. Last week's reports about NHS complaints states that the quality of care has not declined so far. So what is so special about 2013? The Public Sector pay freeze release has been indicated as partly to blame, but if the NHS is surviving so far, surely the cuts can continue without affecting patient care? There is a lovely little statistic in my most recent student BMJ that junior doctors' salaries are 10% worse off than before the cuts.

There is also the deadline of NHS cuts to be achieved by 2015 drawing near, perhaps this is all doom and gloom that the targets won't be met. However, the cuts are supposed to improve efficieny and not compromise care. The two reports relased within 7 days of each other seem incompatible with one another. The jury is out until the end of 2013 on this one.