Hospitals and other NHS trusts have announced record combined financial deficits, well in excess of £2 billion. A whistleblower has alleged dubious accounting procedures, in the form of unorthodox “financial alchemy”, to disguise the true level of deficits.
Triggle, N. (2016). Huge hospital overspend to be revealed. London: BBC Health News, May 20th 2016.
65% of the 240 trusts are in deficit. Nearly 90 % of hospitals have reported end-of-year deficits. Hospital trusts account for an overspend of £2.6 billion (on a budget of £56.1 billion). Deficits could impact on waiting times and care quality.
Triggle, N. (2016). Patients ‘could suffer’ as NHS trusts bust budgets. London: BBC Health News, May 20th 2016.
Further BBC News analysis:
Pym, H. (2016). NHS deficits and the struggle to balance the books. London: BBC Health News, May 20th 2016.
May 2016 King’s Fund Quarterly Monitoring Report
Around two-thirds of NHS trust finance directors and over half of CCG finance leads are of the opinion that the quality of patient care in their area has deteriorated over the past year:
Appleby, J. Thompson, J. [and] Jabbal, J. (2016). How is the NHS performing? May 2016: Quarterly Monitoring Report. London: King’s Fund, May 19th 2016.
This relates to:
Appleby, J. Thompson, J. [and] Jabbal, J. (2016). Quarterly Monitoring Report. QMR No.19. May 2016. London: King’s Fund, May 19th 2016.
NHS failures are alleged to have become the new norm?:
Triggle, N. [and] and Dreaper, J. (2016). Endless winter in NHS ‘puts patients at risk’. London: BBC Health News, June 21st 2016.
Further commentary from BBC News:
Triggle, N. (2016). Has NHS failure become the new norm? London: BBC Health News, June 21st 2016.
August 2016 Update
Delays in discharging patients 23% rise. London: BBC Health News, August 11th 2016.
Further analysis / commentary:
Pym, H. (2016). Difficult headlines – more troubled times ahead for the NHS? London: BBC Health News, August 12th 2016.
The Situation Regarding Ambulance Trusts
Triggle, N. (2016). Is the ambulance service in crisis? London: BBC Health News, May 23rd 2016.
More speculation on relaxation of the eight-minute target for responding to certain calls:
Ambulance services ‘not coping’ as demand rises. London: BBC Health News, January 26th 2017.
NHS spend on private ambulances trebles in four years. London: BBC Health News, May 26th 2016.
Protracted Ambulance Waits Increasing
“There were 76,000 waits over an hour in 2015-16, up from 28,000 in 2013-14. The number of waits of more than 30 minutes rose by 60% over the same period, from 258,000 to nearly 413,000”.
Triggle, N. (2016). Ambulance patients face long A&E delays. London: BBC Health News, October 18th 2016.
January 2017 Update
More than 40% hospitals (66 out of 152 trusts) in England declared a major alert in the first week of 2017, with rising pressures regarding bed shortages, and more patients enduring trolley waits / delays in A&E.
Triggle, N. (2017). Major alerts ‘at many hospitals’. London: BBC Health News, January 13th 2017.
Record Levels of NHS Deficits: Considering the Options Post-Brexit
Pym, H. (2016). NHS finances – back under intense scrutiny. London: BBC Health News, July 8th 2016.
The Health Foundation has projected an NHS funding shortfall of around £16 billion by 2030/31 without considering the impact of leaving the EU.
Briefing: NHS finances outside the EU: Health Foundation analysis of the impact on NHS finances of the UK leaving the European Union. London: Health Foundation, July 4th 2016.
A more recent briefing from the King’s Fund:
Dunn, P. McKenna, H. [and] Murray, R. (2016). Deficits in the NHS 2016. London: King’s Fund, July 8th 2016.
Further BBC comment, analysis and equivocation:
Triggle, N. (2016). NHS funding: Is £10bn rise really a cut? London: BBC Health News, October 20th 2016.
The Health Select Committee, chaired by Dr Sarah Wollaston, assert the NHS is not “awash with money”. Their main concerns involve the cuts to local authority budgets for social care and public health. The open letter.
NHS funds need urgent boost, say MPs. London: BBC Health News, October 31st 2016.
Expert advice on social care for the Autumn Statement:
The Autumn Statement: joint statement on health and social care. London: King’s Fund, Health Foundation [and] Nuffield Trust, November 2016.
Pym, H. (2016). NHS funding and rationing: the debate intensifies. London: BBC Health News, October 31st 2016.
Further rumours of scaling-down the provision of certain unaffordable local services?
Pym, H. (2017). Is NHS rationing a possibility? London: BBC Health News, June 7th 2017.
The Government’s response to the House of Commons Health Select Committee report on the spending review for health and social care:
Government Response to the House of Commons Health Select Committee Report into the Impact of the Spending Review on Health and Social Care (First Report of Session 2016–17). London: Department of Health, December 16th 2016. Cm 9385.
Trends in Hospital Activity and Funding
A related King’s Fund’s briefing explores trends in hospital activity rates and funding for England over the past 13 years:
Maguire, D. Dunn, P. [and] McKenna, H. (2016). How hospital activity and funding in England have changed over time. London: King’s Fund, December 20th 2016.
May 2018 Update
NHS trusts in England had a combined financial deficit of £960 million in the last financial year; around double the £496 million planned.
Deficit for NHS trusts in England double the amount planned. London: BBC Health News, May 31st 2018.