BIRKENHEAD MP Frank Field has warned that “the NHS as we know it will cease to exist” in five years unless it is given more money.

In a dramatic speech to the King’s Fund today, Mr Field claimed the health service is “under pressure the like of which has never been witnessed before” and said “something big will have to give” by the end of this Parliament if the health service is to be saved.

He said the financial pressures on the NHS will “blow it apart” by 2020.

In his speech, Mr Field said: “Something big will have to give by the end of this Parliament. Either the NHS as we know it will cease to exist, or a new funding arrangement will need to be put in place that both provides buoyancy of revenue and becomes an agent of change: change in driving efficiencies, change in constructing a dialogue with voters on what the impact of a rising and rapidly aging population means for services and costs, and a dialogue on the special dynamics of health sector inflation.”

He claimed the NHS deficit will reach £30bn by 2020 - £22bn of which will have to be found through spending cuts.

The Birkenhead MP said there is “uncertainty” around how the Government is going to “drip feed” in its promised £8bn of additional funds and despite ring-fencing the 2010-15 health budget, total health expenditure has grown at what Mr Field described as “the slowest pace ever since the NHS was born in 1948”.

Mr Field spoke of a “Berlin Wall” diving the NHS and social care services leading to “inefficiencies and costs”. He added that an already “rock bottom” staff morale was being worsened due to the “imposition of new contracts for a seven-day working week”.

He said the NHS funding crisis can only be solved by creating a National Health and Social Care Service.

“If the Chancellor were to seek a renegotiation with voters on a new contract of health and social care funding, he would be opening up the possibility of the most radical reform of this country’s health services since 1948,” said Mr Field.

“It would enshrine the political necessity of providing health services free at the point of use, with an independently guarded and buoyant source of income, as well as the revolutionary change of beginning to integrate health and social care.”