NHS Providers welcomes solid progress in reduction of NHS provider sector deficit

14 June 2017

 

The chief executive of NHS Improvement, Jim Mackey, has published official year-end figures which show the year-end deficit for NHS trusts in 2016/17 was -£791m million. This is substantially less than the previous year’s deficit of £2.45 billion and a marked improvement on the third quarter forecast issued in February, which stood at -£886 million.

 

Responding, the chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, said:

“These figures should be seen in the context of the enormous financial pressures trusts face, but also the solid progress that has been made in controlling the runaway deficits of the last three years.

“While a year-end figure of -£791 million exceeds the -£580 million target set by national bodies, it is substantially better than the £2.45 billion deficit in 2015/16, and is a significant improvement on the third quarter forecast issued in February, which stood at -£886 million.

“This reflects a huge amount of hard work to control costs, increase productivity and improve efficiency whilst continuing to provide outstanding patient care with record levels of demand. The £700 million of savings in agency staff costs is particularly notable, and is a credit to the great progress trusts have made in addressing this priority.

The £700 million of savings in agency staff costs is particularly notable, and is a credit to the great progress trusts have made in addressing this priority.

“We do need to keep these figures in context. NHS England funding in 2016/17 rose by 3.6 per cent but this year that drops to 1.3 per cent. Two thirds of trusts told us at quarter 3 that they were very or fairly reliant on one off non recurrent savings to meet their year end figures. That is not sustainable.

“However the year-end deficit figure is a genuine improvement and a notable achievement.

“We welcome Jim Mackey’s signal of a move back towards earned autonomy. We look forward to contributing to discussions about the form that should take.”

 

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