A TORY cash squeeze and dire staff shortages saw England’s NHS “foundation” trusts plunge £321 million into the red between October and December.
Regulator Monitor said that ministers’ demands for billions in cost savings and increased demand had created “exceptional pressure.”
It added that the use of high-cost agency staff to plug gaps had forced up costs drastically.
Wage costs were awhopping £419m over budget because of a reliance on temps.
Monitor’s report revealed a rapid collapse in the finances of the 147 organisations, which had been handed greater management freedoms by the last government.
Only six months earlier their collective deficit stood at £167m — revealing a near doubling of debt.