The health service will “run out of cash” because of a £30 billion funding gap, a senior NHS England official claims.
Tim Kelsey, NHS England’s director for patients and information warned that the organisation could face serious problems by 2020.
Later this week NHS England will publish a report explaining changes to how health services will be provided.
Speaking at a technology conference on the 65th anniversary of the NHS, Kelsey said ever-increasing demands on services have created doubts about the long-term future of the health service.
He said: “We are about to run out of cash in a very serious fashion.”
And Mike Farrar, the chief executive of the NHS Confederation agreed.
He said that the health service was facing “challenges greater than any it has had to deal with in its lifetime”.
The NHS budget for 2012-13 was £108.9bn. Yet in the recent spending review, Chancellor George Osbourne said the health service will get a funding increase of 0.1% in 2015-16.