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NHS leaders warn of service cuts as hospital energy bills soar

Hospital trusts in England face “eye-watering” rises in energy bills of £2m a month each due to the fuel price surge, with NHS leaders saying patients may face longer waiting times or even see their care “cut back” as a result.

NHS trusts are concerned they will have to make critical choices on staff levels and the services they provide in order to keep operating, with energy costs predicted to be as much as three times higher than a year ago.

The BMJ surveyed NHS trusts in England for details of their recent and predicted future energy bills and how they expected to operate this coming winter when taking into account the additional energy charges on the way. Most said they expected their energy bills to double at least.

Rory Deighton, senior acute lead at the NHS Confederation, which represents the whole healthcare system in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, said: “This isn’t an abstract problem, as the gap in funding from rising inflation will either have to be made up by fewer staff being employed, longer waiting times for care, or other areas of patient care being cut back."

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Source: The Guardian, 1 September 2022


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