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NHS faces staffing ‘meltdown’ if pensions row is not solved, trusts warn

July 08, 2019 / Maggie Baska

Patients are facing longer waiting times for treatment and hospitals are having to cancel operations as the fallout from an ongoing NHS pensions row deepens, according to hospital leaders. NHS Providers, which represents English trusts, said the situation had become so dire that the government had “three or four weeks” to address the pensions dispute – which has seen doctors and other senior employees cut back on shifts or take early retirement for fear of facing large tax bills – before more serious issues arise.  Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, said the dispute was escalating so quickly it would send NHS into “meltdown” if the government did not take immediate action. He added that hospital leaders were warning they would be unable to meet waiting list targets unless drastic action was taken. The issue arose after regulations introduced in 2016 limited the sums that could be paid into public sector pension pots by high earners ...