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Hospitals treat more patients despite financial squeeze says regulator

Hospitals treat more patients despite financial squeeze says regulator


A report by the healthcare regulator Monitor has revealed that NHS foundation trusts are having to treat more patients, despite financial squeeze in their budgets.

The data shows NHS trusts treated almost 100,000 extra emergency patients (2.7 million in total) between April and June 2014.

Furthermore, 391 million was spent on contract and agency staff, double the 189 million they had planned.

Chief executive at Monitor, Dr David Bennett believes a “greater grip” needs to be placed on cutting costs of staff, in particular agency workers.

He said: “NHS foundation trusts are striving to overcome the challenges they face while still meeting patients expectations for quality care. However, we believe trusts can make further progress by improving their planning, aggressively implementing best operational practices and working more effectively across local systems.

“In particular, getting a greater grip on their staffing costs, especially for agency staff, will help trusts increase their financial resilience. But many trusts also need strong support from their staff to identify and urgently deliver cost savings, with ideas for redesigning operations being implemented at maximum pace.”

Two thirds of all NHS trusts (147 foundation trusts) failed to meet national waiting time targets for a number of services, including A&E, routine surgery and cancer services.

Additionally, the sector as a whole reported a deficit for the time.

The key findings from Monitor’s sector analysis include:

 - A sector deficit of £167 million, compared with the a planned deficit of £80 million

 - Foundation trusts spent 391 million on contracts and agency staff, in contrast to the 189 million they intended to

 - 86 NHS trust reported a deficit, 80% of which were acute trusts

 - The total deficit of these 86 trusts was £227 million, which was offset by the 61 foundation trusts that made a total surplus of £60 million

 - NHS trusts made £223 million worth of savings, which was £58 million less than they planned

 - The sector breached the target to treat 90% of admitted patients within 18 weeks of referral

 - 28 trusts were put under enforcement action by Monitor due to failing governance and performance


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