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Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, in response to the publication of the NHS Commissioning Board’s operating guidelines for 2013/14, said:

“When people in the NHS read the small print of this statement, they will quickly discover that the reality does not match the spin. Promises of real-terms increases will melt away when they add up the full cost of what they are being asked to do.

“Yet again, the NHS is being instructed to hold back funds from patient care to pay for the costs of a back-office re-organisation. That is simply unjustifiable when the NHS front-line is taking a battering and nurses jobs are being lost in their thousands.

“In addition, the NHS is being mandated to make a 1% surplus. This, coupled with the on-going costs of re-organisation, will translate into yet more real-terms cuts on the NHS front-line at a time when hospitals are already ‘full to bursting’.

“The fact is that David Cameron cut NHS spending over his first two years in office and it is now reeling from a reckless re-organisation that nobody wants.”

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