NHS trusts 'need to up financial game' as more fall into the red

More NHS foundation trusts are struggling with finances, a report has found. The study from Monitor, which regulates England's 147 foundation trusts, said 39 trusts are now in deficit. The combined financial hole of these trusts is £180 million.

NHS trusts 'performing well' despite financial struggle

NHS Foundation Trusts are performing well despite pressure on services, a health spokesman for the Conservative Party said, after a report found that more trusts were struggling with finances. The spokesman added:

This Government has shone a light on poor care in a way that Labour neglected to do - and which led to tragedies like Mid Staffs - in some cases putting pressure on finances as Trusts address historical issues with nursing numbers and the like.

We are putting recovery plans in place for any Trust in financial difficulty, but as the culture within our NHS changes, we do not accept that delivering safe and compassionate care in the longer term costs more money.

Monitor: NHS 'facing tough financial climate'

Jason Dorsett, finance director at Monitor says: "It's a tough financial climate for the NHS at the moment. The government has put more money into the NHS but the population is getting larger, people are getting older so that money has got to go further every year.

"So what we're finding is not that foundation trusts are in great difficulties, but there are closer to the margin, they've got less surplus to go around."

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Midlands is most 'financially challenged' region

A study from Monitor, which regulates England's 147 foundation trusts, said 39 trusts are now in deficit, almost double the 21 in the same period last year and more than the 24 expected.

The combined financial hole of these trusts is £180 million - higher than the £168 million anticipated, with 60% of the deficit concentrated in five organisations. A further 17 trusts have "very small" deficits.

Mid Staffordshire hospital trust.
Midlands is most 'financially challenged' region. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

The Midlands is the most "financially challenged" region, with 14 of its 38 trusts being in deficit, including Peterborough, Mid Staffordshire, Sherwood Forest and Milton Keynes, the report said.

Overall, 40% (33) of acute trusts, 20% (one) of ambulance trusts, 11% (two) of specialist trusts and 7% (three) of mental health trusts are in deficit.

NHS trusts 'need to up their financial game'

A report showing the number of NHS foundation trusts breaching an urgent cancer target has more than quadrupled in a year also showed trusts had delivered "efficiency savings" of £867 million so far in 2014 -18% (£185 million) behind what they had planned for this stage.

All trusts need to up their game in delivering efficiency savings this year in order to maintain and improve the quality of care for patients, and ensure the sustainability of services.

The financial trust sector is doing remarkably well in tough circumstances but is looking a little frayed at the edges.

– Jason Dorsett, financial reporting director at health sector regular Monitor

Read: Hospitals missing cancer targets: Report's key findings

Hospitals missing cancer targets: Report's key findings

The Government target is for 85% of patients with suspected cancer to start treatment within 62 days of being urgently referred by their GP.

Monitor's report shows:

  • 18 trusts breached this target, up from 12 the previous quarter and compared with four in the same period in 2012
  • 39 trusts are now in financial deficit - almost double the same period last year
  • 1.6 million patients were waiting for treatment in December - 14% higher than December 2012
  • 28 foundation trusts failed the four-hour A&E waiting time target from October-December 2013
  • Of England's 147 NHS Foundation Trusts, 26 are currently in breach of their licence
  • 8 of those trusts are in special measures

Read: Number of hospitals missing cancer targets 'quadruples'

Number of hospitals missing cancer targets 'quadruples'

The number of NHS hospitals breaching an urgent cancer target has more than quadrupled in a year, a report by health sector regulator Monitor has found.

The number of NHS foundation trusts breaching an urgent cancer target has more than quadrupled in a year, a report has found. Credit: PA

Figures for October to December last year show that 18 trusts breached a key target for urgent cancer referrals, a performance that has fallen to its lowest level in two years.

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