The cause of that NHS funding crises...
The business leader who convinced Gordon Brown to pour more than £40bn into the NHS has issued a scathing rebuke over the government's failure to deliver genuinely radical improvements to patient care.
In his first open criticism over the handling of the record investment in the health service, Sir Derek Wanless blamed generous increases in pay for doctors and nurses for the financial crisis now facing many hospitals. His attack came as the official responsible for implementing the pay deals prepared to leave the Department of Health, just a month after the departure of its chief executive Sir Nigel Crisp.
Wanless, a former head of NatWest who wrote a groundbreaking health report for Brown in 2002, told The Observer: 'The government decided to pay people a lot more than was in the assumptions made in the report. Like night follows day, the money's not there to be spent on the other things.'
'What they've finished up with now is using all the money - actually, slightly more than all the money - and they're not doing some of the things that were actually crucial: prevention, and productivity of the health services.'
The hint from Wanless that they have used 'slightly more than all the money' appears to confirm fears that virtually all the extra growth money earmarked for the next two years has already been taken up by pay, inflationary pressures and extra pensions provision. The budget will have risen from £46bn in 2002/03 to nearly £90bn next year.
Only a surprise to those who have never heard of "Producer Capture" - which includes most of our leaders; a quick read of the most basic economics text by them might have saved us a little of the waste.