Robert Toland, chair of Western health and social services board, has warned that funding problems in Northern Ireland's health and social services will increase unless the government 'faces up to' the 'grim reality' of a gap between 'the funding we require for essential service development and the resources made available'. He also warned that the gap would widen next year if the government does not 'inflation-proof ' funds. 'Successive governments have continued to squeeze more and more efficiency out of a system which is underfunded for the task it has to undertake, ' he said. 'I have very real fears for our service next year and in the years to come if we are not provided with a realistic funding base.'