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Commenting on new figures showing a deficit of £2.45bn in NHS finances, UNISON head of health Christina McAnea said: “This is yet another set of damaging figures that show the NHS is under unprecedented financial pressure.

“Patients are suffering as already scarce resources dwindle further still. Targets for A&E admissions, waiting times, and cancer diagnosis are all routinely being missed by trusts because of a severe lack of cash.

“Instead of slowly strangling the NHS by denying hospitals the resources they need, ministers are putting ever more pressure on health staff who are already stretched to breaking point.

“Government claims to have protected the NHS from the worst of the cuts are now in tatters.

“By failing to invest in the support staff ­­– who keep the NHS going behind the scenes – the government is storing up huge problems for the future.”

Media contacts:

Liz Chinchen T: 0207 121 5463 M: 07778 158175 E: l.chinchen@unison.co.uk

Anthony Barnes T: 0207 121 5255 M: 07834 864794 E: a.barnes@unison.co.uk

Alan Weaver T: 0207 121 5555 M: 07939 143310 E: a.weaver@unison.co.uk