Realism needed over delivery task for providers in the year ahead

19 April 2018

NHS Improvement chief executive Ian Dalton has written to providers to warn that financial, workforce and activity plans are “not sufficiently robust” and further work is needed to address several issues before final submissions are made by 30 April.

The letter adds that trusts should set out bed numbers, capacity, planned activity, planned financial position and “genuinely” anticipated performance levels for each month.


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

“Our conversations with NHS Improvement indicate that they want realistic 2018/19 plans that reflect what trusts genuinely believe they can deliver. Not what trusts hope they can deliver, what they would like to deliver, or what the planning guidance says they should deliver.

The 2018/19 delivery task looks beyond stretching.

“NHSI wants to know now, at the start of the year,  where the gaps are - be they money, performance, or activity levels - so there can be a sensible debate on how to deal with those gaps. The 2018/19 delivery task looks beyond stretching.

“The letter says it’s better to identify the problems now, than pretend they don’t exist and fall off plan in year. Trusts tell us they have felt under pressure to submit plans ‘with the right answer’ so how NHSI teams react to the realism that’s being asked for, when they get it, will be key”.


This statement was first published by the HSJ (£) on 19 April 2018. 

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