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The NHS in England does not have enough beds or staff, health bosses say, ahead of the new financial year next week. NHS Providers, which represents chief executives, warned the service was facing an impossible task in 2018-19. The group said it meant hospital waiting lists would grow and long A&E waits continue.

But the government said it was taking steps to support the NHS, including pay rises for staff and the promise of a long-term funding settlement. The pay rise – if agreed by the workforce by the summer – will be backdated to April and guarantees staff, excluding doctors, a minimum pay rise of 6.5% over three years.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday Prime Minister Theresa May committed the government to a long-term funding plan in the near future to end what she called annual “cash top-ups”. However, NHS Providers said neither of those would address the immediate pressures facing the health service.

It highlighted figures showing that one in 12 posts were vacant, including nearly 36,000 nurse jobs and 9,600 doctor posts. The organisation also warned another 10,000 to 15,000 hospital beds were needed on top of the 100,000 already in the system.

Original Article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-43576036

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