Closing wards and services, extending waiting times, and stopping some treatments are all being considered by senior NHS officials in controversial plans to curb spending, the Health Service Journal has revealed.

The controversial measures are reportedly being discussed privately between top officials from NHS England and NHS Improvement and health managers in 14 areas of the country with the highest levels of overspending.

These areas are: Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset; Cambridgeshire and Peterborough; Cheshire (Eastern, Vale Royal and South); Cornwall; Devon; Morecambe Bay; Northumbria; North Central London; North Lincolnshire; North West London; South East London; Staffordshire; Surrey and Sussex; Vale of York and Scarborough and Ryedale.

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Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary Norman Lamb commented:

"These savage proposed cuts to frontline services show why we cannot allow Conservative underfunding of the NHS to continue.

“We have less than 48 hours left to save the NHS as we know it.

“Without more investment in the NHS, waiting times will increase, availability of treatments will be reduced and patients will suffer.

“We don’t need to accept this. The Liberal Democrats will stand up to Theresa May on the NHS to ensure our hospitals receive the funding they need.”

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