The Chair of the UK Statistics Authority has stated that “expenditure on the NHS in real terms was lower in 2011-12 than it was in 2009-10."
David Cameron famously promised he would cut the deficit, not the NHS. We now have it in black and white: he is cutting the NHS, not the deficit. There could be no clearer evidence of the failure of this Prime Minister and his Government.
For months, David Cameron's Government have made misleading boasts about NHS spending, misrepresenting the true financial difficulties he has brought upon the NHS. At the same time they have recently begun to try to distance themselves from these problems which David Cameron has created, trying to shift the blame to the NHS and its staff.
The Prime Minister must come to the House of Commons at the earliest opportunity and correct the record. He has been found out. He has cut the NHS budget for two years running and he owes it to patients and NHS staff to be honest about that.
This mismatch between David Cameron's promises and the reality on the ground cannot be allowed to continue. These real-terms cuts explain why the Care Quality Commission recently found that 16 per cent of hospitals in England do not have adequate staffing levels; why over 7,000 nursing jobs have been lost on David Cameron’s watch - one thousand in the last month alone; and why hospitals are dangerously full.
This must be a hard lesson for this Prime Minister. He might be able to airbrush a poster, but he can’t manipulate the statistics and expect to get away with it.
Andrew Dilnot's letter to Jeremy Hunt can be viewed here.