The Department of Health has been asked to contribute £2.3bn to the Treasury’s £5bn of public spending cuts in 2010-11.

In his Budget published this afternoon, chancellor Alistair Darling has reduced the DH’s overall resource expenditure limit for 2010-11 by £2.3bn to £104bn.

The NHS’s share of that has been reduced by more: down £2.6bn from £104.6bn as planned in last year’s Budget, to £102.3bn.

The Budget also sets out in where it expects the NHS to find new efficiencies. This includes £500m a year through improved commissioning and lower hospital, community care and mental health costs (achieved by an extension of the payment by results tariff) and a further £500m a year through reducing lengths of stay in hospital.

The NHS is expected to make another £100m saving to its annual costs through collaborative procurement and improving back office functions.

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Budget 2009: NHS asked to cut £2.3bn from plans in 2010-11