NHS Finance

07.01.19

30 worst financially performing NHS trusts subject to new NHS Improvement ‘turnaround process’

The 30 worst financially performing NHS trusts will be subject to new regulation from NHS Improvement (NHSI) in a bid to bring cash-strapped providers under control, the NHS’s long-term plan outlined today.

An “accelerated turnaround process” has created by the regulator for the 30 trusts, however no detailed plan has been given for the scheme.

With many trusts reporting deficits, and financial and workforce pressures across the NHS, the long-term plan lays out major reforms to the NHS’s “financial architecture,” payment systems, and incentives.

In establishing a new Financial Recovery Fund and ‘turnaround process’, the plan aims to, over a five-year timeline, return the NHS as a whole as well as the trust sector, local systems, and individual organisations, to financial stability and balanced budgets.

In order to deliver for taxpayers, NHS England says it will continue to drive efficiencies, all of which are then available to local areas to reinvest in frontline care, and the NHS will save a further £700m in reduced administrative costs.

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said the long-term plan “marks the dawn of a new era,” however noted that the next few years will require the balancing several key decisions.

“The next few years will be about balancing the need to keep the NHS going, overcoming the large deficits in many hospitals and other NHS organisations, delivering some improvements, and preparing for new ways of delivering care that will make the NHS sustainable. This is not about miracles - money will be tight and staffing will remain a headache for years to come,” he added.

The chief executives from both Mind and Macmillan welcomed the extra funding and initiatives from the 10-year plan; but Labour shadow health secretary Jonathon Ashworth said that the plan was May trying to “clear up a mess that she made” after nine years of “the Tories running down the NHS.”

Chief executive of NHS Providers Chris Hopson said: “And after the best part of a decade of austerity, there’s a lot of catching up to be done – both in terms of performance against the main NHS targets, and finance.

“To plan is to choose. The NHS frontline wants an ambitious plan but, above all, a realistic and deliverable plan.

“A plan that ruthlessly prioritises what the NHS will deliver, clearly setting out how those priorities match the money and staff available. A plan that’s crystal clear on how the NHS will recover the ground we’ve lost on finance and performance, that solves current workforce shortages and is realistic about how any new commitments are going to be paid for and staffed.”

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