On the day briefing: 2018/19 Quarter 3 finances and performance

NHS Improvement (NHSI) has released the quarter three (Q3) finance and operational performance figures for the provider sector. These figures cover the period 1 October 2018 to 31 December 2018. This briefing summarises the key headlines for those figures as well as our view of what they mean.

NHS Provider's view on the Q3 finance and performance figures

Responding to the Q3 NHS figures published by NHS Improvement, the director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, Miriam Deakin, said:

“This is a creditable performance by trusts in the face of rapidly rising demand for care, severe staff and skills shortages and continuing financial pressures.

“Clearly it is a cause for concern to trusts that they are not managing to deliver on the key targets that patients rightly expect.

“Recovering performance must be a key priority, but we should not lose sight of the great efforts made by trusts and front line staff to treat more patients, providing timely, high quality care.

“So while we saw further rises in A&E attendances and emergency admissions, and slippage against the four-hour standard, we should acknowledge that in Q3 over 106,000 more patients were seen, treated or discharged within four hours than for the same time the previous year.

“Similarly, although we saw performance slip back against the 18 week standard for routine operations, there was some progress on cancer treatment, access to mental health services, and a reduction in long-stay patients.

“These are significant achievements, particularly in view of the extremely challenging workforce problems trusts face.

“The financial position is broadly similar to what we saw last year, though fewer trusts are in deficit.

“However they continue to operate in an extremely challenging environment, and despite trusts’ best efforts, we are not convinced the sector will meet the projected overspend forecast by NHS Improvement.”