- 31 May 2018
- Posted in: Health & Social Care
The regulator NHS Improvement has reported a deficit of £960m in the last financial year- almost double the forecasted amount of £496m that trusts in England had anticipated. The deficit was reached despite extra financial support provided by the government during the winter crisis.
The overspend was mainly attributed to increased patient demand, the regulator said, with acute hospitals bearing the brunt of costs. The report found that all other providers, including ambulance and mental health trusts, had collectively underspent.
NHS Improvement said acute hospitals had faced a surge in demand within A&E - particularly over the winter months. Some also spent more to cover vacancies and sickness absence. The regulator highlighted that 156 of the 234 trusts finished the year either reaching or exceeding their financial target.
Senior policy analyst for the Nuffield Trust, Sally Gainsbury, commented:
"Given the huge pressures on NHS providers, it is not at all surprising that the reported deficit for 2017-18 is £960m. As we have previously warned, there is a widening gap between what we are asking the NHS to do and what we are funding it to do."
Later this year the government is expected to announce a new finance settlement for the NHS to mark its 70th anniversary with extra funding help to support rising demands on health and social care services.