Survey of finance directors and chief executives

Following the publication of the 2018/19 planning guidance we surveyed finance directors and chief executives at NHS trusts in England. The online survey was open for a week at the end of February 2018.

97 NHS trusts and foundation trusts responded to the survey, representing 42% of the sector. The majority (80%) of responses we received were from finance directors at trusts, and 20% of responses were chief executives.

Additional analysis

Where we have made any assumptions or forecasts in the analysis contained in this report we have added some additional explanatory notes.

Forecasting A&E attendances, emergency admissions and A&E performance

Step 1: To forecast growth in demand for next year, we have first projected what the end of year position will be at the end of March 2018. The latest data available for A&E is February 2018. Therefore when forecasting the end of year position for 2017/18 we have taken the average over the previous 11 months and scaled it up to cover 12 months to get an end of year position.

Step 2: All forecasts for 2018/19 are based on the assumption that the growth will be the same for 2018/19 as we forecast it to be at the end of year position for 2017/18.

Example: The NHS has had 21,831,053 A&E admissions from April 2017 to February 2018. We forecast this to be 23,815,694 at the end of March 2018. This is a 1.9% growth from 2016/17. We predict that if growth holds at 1.9% there will be 24,268,192 A&E admissions next year.

Referral to treatment 

NHS England publishes data on the referral to treatment waiting time list. The number of trusts submitting data to the data set varies from month to month. However, Rob Findlay publishes more accurate data that includes non-reporting trusts and we have used March 2017 and January 2018 data for our calculations.

Health visitor pay

The agenda for change pay offer has now been announced. A detailed breakdown of what the pay announcement will mean for each agenda for change band can be found here.

For our illustrative example used in the report we have based our calculation on the assumption that all health visitors in the workforce are at the mid point (25) of band 6 on agenda for change, and we have assumed that all health visitors would be providing services commissioned by local authorities.

Doctors pay

Any pay award for doctors is still unknown. For our illustrative example used in the report we have based our calculation on the average 2016/17 consultant salary (£118,153) published in the Department for Health and Social Care’s evidence to the doctors pay review body (Department for Health and Social Care, 2018) and the latest available workforce numbers from NHS Digital (NHS Digital, 2018).