Figures released this week, by both Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority, reveal that this summer two-thirds of acute hospitals in England were in deficit. This has led to NHS acute hospitals having a net deficit of £0.5bn for this period.  

'This is serious news for the NHS in England,' explains Anita Charlesworth, Chief Economist at the Health Foundation. 'These figures show how much stress the service is under, as it fails to meet many of the key standards on waiting times, ambulance response times and cancer care. The financial position is dire. The problem is not going away.

'As MPs meet for their party conferences over the coming weeks they need to recognise that the NHS faces fundamental, long-term challenges and that any new government must do more than tweaks to policy and small injections of cash. The NHS needs and deserves a commitment to transformation and a proper answer to the funding challenges in the short and medium term.'

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