On the day briefing:Q4 finances and performance

NHS Improvement (NHSI) has released the quarter four (Q4) finance and operational performance figures for the provider sector. These figures cover the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018. This briefing summarises the key headlines for those figures as well as our view on what they mean.

nhs provider's view on the q4 finance and performance figures

Commenting on the year-end financial and performance figures for the NHS provider sector, the chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, said:

 “NHS trusts and frontline staff are working harder than ever in the face of a relentless rise in demand for care, severe workforce pressures and a continued funding squeeze.

“The figures we see today reflect the worrying gap between what the NHS is being asked to deliver and the resources available following almost a decade of austerity. And we must remember that today’s figure masks the full underlying deficit which is much higher, and how reliant the NHS continues to be on one-off savings.

 “These pressures are being felt by patients and staff right across health and social care. There are not enough staff, ambulances, community and mental health capacity or hospital beds to cope.

“This has become a year-round challenge, but the problems were compounded by severe winter conditions, with the result that too often, standards of care fell short of what trusts want to provide, and what the public has a right to expect.

 “These pressures have had a substantial impact on trust finances. There was also a significant financial impact. The additional A&E activity and the sharp rise in emergency admissions meant there was less income than expected from planned procedures such as knee and hip replacements. There were also extra staffing costs to cover increased vacancies, sickness and staff turnover.

 “In those circumstances, the overall deficit of £960mwas a creditable performance. Once again, the NHS has also outperformed the wider economy on productivity. Spending on agency staff fell by more than £500mcompared with the previous year, and trusts delivered cost improvements equivalent to £3.2bn ([3.7]% of trust turnover) – £110mmore than 2016/17.

“However, looking ahead to 2018/19, financial and workforce pressures continue to increase. For the longer term, we welcome the prime minister’s recent commitment to increase long term funding for health and care and look forward to the new comprehensive health and care workforce strategy.

 “But today’s figures show a substantial part of any additional spending on the NHS in the future, will be spent on fixing the shortfalls that have built up in recent years.”


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