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Lord Kerslake has resigned after two and a half years as chairman of King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and cited hospital underfunding as a main reason for his decision.
In a report in the Guardian newspaper, he said government ministers were in denial about how much money the NHS needs. He added that a ‘fundamental rethink’ on the way the health service was funded and organised was needed.
His resignation came just days before the trust was put into special measures by the regulator NHS Improvement.
NHS Improvement said the King’s board had earlier this year agreed a budget deficit of £38m for 2017/18. In late October, it had revised this to £70m. NHS Improvement said last week the trust had re-forecast again to a year-end deficit of £92m.
The resignation also came just a couple of weeks after the Chancellor’s Budget provided an extra one-off NHS payment of £1.6bn for the year 2018/19, after health service leaders requested £4bn.
Following the Budget announcement, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens warned that some ‘painful’ choices would have to be made in terms of service provision.
NHS England put forward plans to place curbs on the prescribing of some medicines it considers to be ‘low value’ treatments.
Health Service Journal: Major London trust chair resigns as trust put into financial special measures