This site is intended for health professionals only

Deficit £127m worse than expected, NHS leaders warn

Deficit £127m worse than expected, NHS leaders warn

THE NHS deficit is £127 million worse than expected this year – and that’s without including the cost of extra cash to cope with the winter.
|

The NHS deficit is £127m worse than expected this year – and that’s without including the cost of extra cash to cope with the winter. The warning comes from number crunchers at NHS Improvement (NHSI) as trusts and foundation trusts predict a deficit of £623m this year.

Analysts said the black hole ‘does not include additional pressures and potential spending needed to meet them over the coming winter months.’ Jim Mackey, NHSI’s chief executive said the looming deficit, highlighted in the quarterly figures for July to September, is giving planners headaches. ‘The combined end of year deficit for hospitals in England will be worse than planned. While we are working across the NHS to prepare for winter pressures, they be difficult and will place the system under even greater pressure.’

However he said NHSI was working with providers and other NHS bodies ‘to mitigate this risk as much as possible.’ It is also giving intensive support to trusts in financial difficulties through the financial special measures and financial improvement plan. Winter plans include targeted support , continuous monitoring and contingency planning to manage peaks in demand. Demand for hospital admissions was 3.4% increase in emergency admissions, compared with the same time last year.

Earlier in the year the terror attacks in London and Manchester and Grenfell Tower fire and the WannaCry affected the NHS. Delayed discharges were higher than predicted, with 168,000 delayed discharges between July and September.

NHS Improvement said: ‘The majority of providers have set themselves stretching plans to achieve demanding financial control totals.’ Nearly three quarters of them forecast they will meet or exceed their plan by year end. However these ‘ambitious provider plans’ depend on meeting winter costs, agreed activity levels and freeing up beds.

The report highlighted that more emergency patients were seen within four hours and within 18 weeks of planned care. Hospitals also slashed temporary staffing costs by £119m and are on track to meet the £2.5b target for 2017/18. However every region reported staff overspends, with increasing use of bank staff. ‘The latest results indicate that NHS providers continued to do more for less,’ said NHSI. However it warned that ‘the system is fragile’ and lack of capacity to manage pressures and maintain patient flow and the risk of flu or extreme cold pose ‘major risks’ to winter resilience.

|

Ads by Google