“National crisis” facing UK National Health Service as deficits grow


“National crisis” facing UK National Health Service as deficits grow

Ben Trent

16 October 2018

In the latest quarterly report of NHS Improvement (NHSI), the combined forecast deficit of NHS trusts stands at a staggering £519 million.

NHSI is responsible for overseeing foundation trusts and NHS trusts, as well as “independent providers” operating within the NHS. This figure has been deemed “unaffordable” by NHSI. Trusts across England were already at a total deficit of £814 million at the close of June, roughly £80 million worse than the same time last year.

NHSI has noted that providers, for the first time, are carrying an underlying deficit of around £4.3 billion, if the non-recurrent “provider sustainability fund” is discounted.

The report details how successful trusts have been in trying to mitigate the continued cutting back of resources and the challenges faced—especially the continuation of the three-year trend in increased demand of an ageing population. The report details a 3.7 percent increase of A&E [Accident and Emergency] admissions from the same quarter in 2017/18.

Despite claims that two thirds of providers met budgeted targets last year, the deficit at the end of 2017/18 came in at £966 million. With the declaration by NHS Improvement that the current target is insufficient, the report states, “NHS Improvement and NHS England regional colleagues have been working with the most challenged health economies to identify actions to close the residual local planning gap.” In other words, already punitively reduced services need to be cut back even more.

The Kings Fund charity has demonstrated the impact of austerity measures on the NHS since they began to take effect in the financial year 2009-10.

The think tank reported that in…

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