Report reveals the state of finances at hospitals

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NHS trusts in England ended the financial year with a combined deficit of £960m - more than £460m worse than planned.

The figures are revealed today in a report by the regulator NHS Improvement which shows that some hospitals managed to improve their finances while others sank into the red.

It confirms that Leeds Teaching Hospitals was £18.9m in surplus at the end of the year.

The Leeds trust said it overturned an £11m deficit after receiving almost £30m from the Government’s Sustainability and Transformation Fund (STF), which is dependent on meeting performance targets.

Neighbouring Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust ended 2017-18 with a £20m deficit, more than £17m worse than planned.

The report was published after it emerged that NHS trusts lost out on millions of pounds in funding after missing targets linked to cash payments.

The report also shows that English hospitals faced a surge in demand as that more than 5.87m people went to A&E between January-March, more than 220,000 more than the same period last year.

Some 88.4 per cent of A&E patients were seen within four hours, against a target of 95 per cent. Ian Dalton, Chief Executive of NHS Improvement, said: “Despite epic challenges, NHS staff up and down the country displayed incredible resilience and saw more patients than ever before within four hours. More than two thirds of providers ended the year on budget or better than planned. Given rising demand and record vacancies, this is an important achievement.”

The report shows that high demand on A&E led to cancelled operations and temporary staff being hired. At the end of March, 2,647 patients were waiting over a year for planned treatment, compared to 1,513 in March 2017.

Staff shortages included 35,794 nursing vacancies and 9,982 doctor vacancies in England.