The financial performance of acute hospital trusts has significantly declined in the last year and their financial position looks set to worsen in 2015-16, according to the National Audit Office.
The deterioration in the financial position of NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts has been severe and worse than expected, with their £843 million deficit in 2014-15 representing a sharp decline from the £91 million deficit reported in 2013-14.
Overall, the financial position of NHS bodies worsened in 2014-15, as NHS commissioners, NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts together moved from a surplus of £722 million in 2013-14, to a deficit of £471 million.
In June 2015, the Department of Health announced limits on some elements of trust spending in response to the worsening financial position of NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts. Today’s report warns, however, that the response by the Department, Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority might come too late to improve the 2015-16 financial position. The revisions and resubmissions of trusts’ 2015-16 financial plans have created an unsettled planning period, and might make it difficult for NHS trusts, NHS foundation trusts, the NHS TDA, and Monitor, to meet targets, measure progress and ultimately manage resources effectively.
Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General
HC 611 SESSION 2015-16 16 DECEMBER 2015