NHS Cambridgeshire has announced cost-cutting measures designed to save up to £100m a year in the light of the economic downturn. The primary care trust had anticipated significant growth on its current budget of £750m a year, and last year predicted that

NHS Cambridgeshire has announced cost-cutting measures designed to save up to £100m a year in the light of the economic downturn.

The primary care trust had anticipated significant growth on its current budget of £750m a year, and last year predicted that the figure would have reached £950m by the financial year 2013-14. That budget has now been revised to £850m, meaning that efficiencies need to be made throughout the system.

To bridge the shortfall, NHS managers announced on Friday (December 11) a raft of measures designed to improve the efficiency of the healthcare system while maintaining current levels of patient care.

These include taking the pressure off acute hospitals by moving minor operations and consultations to GP surgeries and community centres, improving disease prevention through training and education, and cutting back-office costs by streamlining suppliers.

Andy Vowles, NHS Cambridgeshire's director of strategy and delivery, said: "The world has changed since we made our initial projections. We did not foresee the economic global downturn and its effect on the public funds.

"As a result, the potential £100m gap in funding needs to be bridged. We are looking at where we can provide at least as good or better care to the patient but deliver better value.