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Trust investment rising despite financial pressures

Trust investment rising despite financial pressures

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NHS foundation trusts have responded to rising financial pressures by investing £2 billion between 2013 and 2014 to improve infrastructure and build new hospital facilities, according to Monitor.

A report published by Monitor, NHS foundation trusts: consolidated accounts 2013/2014, revealed that the sector as a whole generated a surplus of £134 million, just one third of the profits made in the previous year.

Despite this, spending on new infrastructure increased from £1.6 billion in 2012/13 to £2 billion in 2013/14, as a result of “additional demands on services” from population that is continually ageing and in a time of poor economic climate, according to chief executive of Monitor, Dr David Bennett.

Dr Bennett said: “In order to tackle these challenges, providers will need to focus on their strengths in areas that will drive long term performance and in doing so will need to equip their organisations and their leaders with the capability to address the scale of change required, delivering new business models to bring about an integrated NHS.”

The increasing burden on NHS services has led to a rise in the number of foundation trusts in deficit from 41 out of 147 in last year compared with 21 in 2012/13. 

The rise in investment in 2013/14 will lead to major improvements in patient care and services. The spending included:

 - A bone marrow transplant unit at University Hospitals Bristol.

 - A new endoscopy unit at Guy’s and Thomas hospital in London.

Further expenses included an ongoing £988 million-scheme in construction and included:

 - The children’s hospital at Alder Hey in Liverpool being replaced with a new development and a surrounding parkland.

 - A specialist emergency care hospital in Northumbria.

NHS organisations will have to continue to work within constricted financial budgets in order to deliver necessary advancements in healthcare, Bennett pointed out.

He said: “However, this does not have to mean providing less or poorer care. Change is never easy, and NHS foundation trusts will have to draw on all their strengths to get through this challenging period.

“If they do, if they use their freedoms, and if they are supported by their local communities, they have the opportunity to invest in a future NHS which is better for their patients, delivering more and better care.”

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