Jamie Reed MP, Labour's Shadow Health Minister, responding to the Public Accounts Committee's report on NHS efficiency savings, said:
“This is the third time this week that the Government has been told by experts that its cuts to the NHS are hitting patients. Ministers cannot go on ignoring these warnings.
“The Committee is right to highlight the increasingly numbers of patients now being denied treatment in a short-sighted bid to cut costs. Patients will find this particularly galling in the same week that George Osborne’s budget took £2.2 billion away from the Department of Health.
“Patients are being left in pain and discomfort for longer and face an agonising decision of whether to go without treatment or pay to go private.
“Ministers are failing to make the long-term efficiency savings and the NHS is cutting the ‘low-hanging fruit’ instead - rationing care and cutting staff numbers. Ministers obsessed over a disruptive £3bn back-office re-organisation rather than focusing on maintaining care standards during the efficiency challenge.
“David Cameron must stop the attack on the front-line and ensure that patients are put first.”