I read the story in the Gazette (April 15) headlined: “Health boss warns of massive budget cuts” with some concern.

The article said I had warned of “massive budget cuts” in the local NHS.

This is simply not true.

There will be no cuts to the £520million budget NHS North East Essex has available to fund local NHS services.

The issue for us is the year-on-year increases we have received for the past decade will no longer be available.

This means we will have to find smarter ways to use NHS funds to improve patient care.

The good news is we have robust plans in place.

We are making a start this year by releasing £1.5million of our administrative costs to reallocate to front-line services.

We will be launching our strategy in June.

This will set out our ideas on how services will be further improved locally, including our proposals for the smarter use of our £520million budget.

However, let me be clear – there will be no cuts to our overall budget.

Dr Paul Watson
Chief Executive
NHS North East Essex