The figures announced today show that NHS providers have incurred deficits totalling £2.3m in the first three quarters of the year (i.e. to the end of December 2015), making it likely that the year-end position will be an overspend of at least £3bn. When this is combined with deteriorating clinical performance, eg 9% of patients waiting longer than four hours in A&E in Q3, it represents the worst quarterly performance since 2003.
These results confirm the increasing pressures on the NHS, which leads in turn to three concerns:
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