Some NHS trusts could resort to freezing staff recruitment in efforts to balance their books, according to reports in the national press.
At the end of the last financial year many trusts found that they had hefty deficits, some running into millions of pounds. As a result some have already taken measures such as restricting recruitment and closing hospital beds.
Alastair Henderson, deputy director of NHS Employers said deficits could pose problems for individual trusts. "It is not unusual for trusts to find themselves in the position of having to resort to reassessment of their recruitment strategy in the face of financial difficulties," he said.
"A slowdown in recruitment activities or a freeze for a limited period of time, or in specific areas, is a recognised way of enabling trusts to achieve financial balance."
He said only a minority of trusts would be freezing recruitment.