The Liberal Democrats have called on the Chancellor to urgently boost funding for the health service after NHS Chief Executive Simon Stevens warned that without extra cash it is going to be "very hard for the NHS to do what is asked of it."
Speaking to Parliament's Health Committee, Simon Stevens said the next two years will be "extremely challenging" for the NHS without additional funding.
It comes as Jeremy Hunt confirmed the NHS pay cap will be lifted, but was unable to rule out cutting health services to pay for increases to pay.
Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake commented:
"The Chancellor must listen to this stark warning and provide the NHS with the extra funding it needs.
"Our nurses, doctors and other NHS workers are doing an incredible job and deserve a pay rise. But this must not come at the cost of cutting NHS services and damaging patient care.
"It's time for the government to accept that the NHS has already been stretched to breaking point and cannot take any further strain.
"More funding is urgently needed to get our health service through the difficult years ahead."