latest health care news

11.03.16

New programme to help trusts access advice on making savings

Struggling NHS trusts will receive advice on commissioning financial support from a new specialist programme, launched today.

The ‘Financial improvement programme’, from Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority, will help trusts find expert financial and operational support to make immediate and long-term savings.

The NHS currently has 179 out of 240 providers reporting a deficit, totalling £2.3bn. Chris Hopson, CEO of NHS Providers, admitted to the Commons Health Select Committee this week that it is ‘unlikely’ that the deficit will be eliminated by the end of 2016-17.

Jason Dorsett, director of financial risk and reporting at Monitor, said: “Government has given the NHS an additional £3.8bn to transform it into a service that consistently meets the needs of our patients. But we must play our part.

“We recognise that some trusts need and would appreciate more help in fixing their finances, and this programme will give them the support they need to make the improvements required.”

Trusts will still have to pay for the financial advice, but NHS Improvement said that they would support trusts to get the best value from commissioning the support, including by linking fees to results achieved, and that they thought the savings in the first year would outstrip the costs.

All local health systems are also required to develop ‘sustainability and transformation plans (STPs_’ to dictate their most critical milestone for 2016-17.

England’s largest healthcare bodies recently published a checklist of key targets trusts must meet before Easter in their path towards developing STPs – including nominating a single person to oversee and co-ordinate the STP process.

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