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The health service must “think like a patient" and "act like taxpayers”, NHS England's chief executive has said, as he insisted private provision would remain "at the margin".
Setting out a new five-year plan for the NHS, Simon Stevens said £22bn of savings could be achieved through reforms to service delivery, but called for an above-inflation annual funding increase of 1.5% to plug the rest of a £30bn funding gap.
“We think we can do it," he told the Today programme.
"We know it can be done, there are parts of the country that are doing it. And if we do that then the NHS can deal with at least two-thirds of what would otherwise have been the funding gap over the course of the next five years.
"What remains is, we think, something that is perfectly feasible as the economy improves for the next government to address. It’s lower rates of increase than the NHS has needed at points in the past."
Mr Stevens also called on the next government "not to introduce any further top-down administrative reorganisations" of the NHS, and gave a "confident prediction" that the "vast majority of NHS-funded care" would continue to be delivered in the public sector.
The health service boss also rejected claims that his own time as president of the US health firm UnitedHealth Group made him an advocate for greater private sector involvement in the NHS.
Today's report also sets out proposals aimed at reducing obesity via workplace incentives, rewarding employees who lose weight with cash or gift vouchers.
The Health Secretary welcomed the new five-year plan as a "blueprint" for reform, as Labour claimed it vindicated their own plans for a £2.5bn spending boost.
"The NHS needs to face up to change; not structural change, but a change in culture about the way we care for people," Jeremy Hunt said, as he responded to an Urgent Question in the Commons.
But Mr Hunt's opposite number, Andy Burnham, accused him of watering down NHS accountability.
"I don’t know who runs the NHS these days, but I do know it’s certainly not him," the Shadow Health Secretary said.
He added: "Labour has set out its plan. Today, NHS endorses that plan. The big question people are asking is: where on Earth is his?”
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