Waiting-time targets missed and waiting lists growing, huge debts racked up by most NHS trusts, a fortune wasted on agency staff…
That is the price of allowing private providers into the National Health Service.
NHS providers need to carry on improving their finances and services if patients are to receive quality care in the future, says England’s new health regulator.
NHS providers are under sustained pressure from an increase in demand for care, issues with discharging medically fit patients, and high costs. As a result, many providers missed several national waiting times standards, such as the A&E performance measure, in the last 3 months of 2015. In addition, the sector as a whole reported a deficit of £2.26 billion in the 9 months to the end of December 2015.
A report to the joint meeting of Monitor and the National Trust Development Authority boards on the performance of the NHS provider sector as of 31 December 2015 shows:
•Overall, the NHS provider sector recorded a deficit of £2.26 billion which is £622 million worse than planned
•179 (75%) out of 240 NHS providers reported a deficit of whom 131 were acute trusts
•the provider sector spent £2.72 billion on agency and contract staff which is £1bn more than planned
•providers have estimated that delayed transfers of care have cost the sector £104m so far this year albeit other estimates put the true cost at a much higher level
•providers made £1,94 billion of savings which is £257 million less than planned
•providers have identified £452m of further financial improvement opportunities for the rest of the 2015/16 financial year
•the NHS provider sector as a whole missed the A&E waiting time target of seeing 95% patients within 4 hours between October and December 2015
•between October and December 2015, 98,000 people waited longer than 4 hours in A&E for admission due to poor bed availability elsewhere in their trust
•the size of the waiting list for routine operations reached 3.14m as providers failed the referral to treatment healthcare standard for the first time.
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