Finance leaders in the NHS have set out a painful list of cost-cutting measures they are having to considerby Richard Murray / November 7, 2017 / Leave a comment
The NHS is now in its eighth year of austerity and it is no surprise that our latest Quarterly Monitoring Report finds it stuck in a Groundhog Day of deficits and slipping financial plans. The risks were always high that a continued malaise on finance would begin to damage patient care (rather than just the Chancellor’s fiscal forecast) and the evidence is that this is indeed happening. But where is the pressure on hospitals greatest? And what must be done to relieve it?
Our recent survey provides us with answers from multiple sources. 51 per cent of NHS trust finance directors and 59 per cent of clinical commissioning group (CCG) finance leads said patient care has worsened over the past year. CCG finance leads also set out a painful list of the measures they are having to consider in order to live within their budgets, with more than 80 per cent extending waiting lists, more than 60 per cent looking to stop funding for lower-value treatments and more than 50 per cent looking to use eligibility criteria (such as smoking or obesity) to reduce access.