News

Seven days in medicine: 30 August to 5 September 2017

BMJ 2017; 358 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j4139 (Published 07 September 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;358:j4139

Finance

NHS hospital overspend is £3bn more than reported

NHS trusts ended last year with an overspend that was almost £3bn (€3.3bn; $3.9bn) higher than reported in their official accounts, a Nuffield Trust analysis found, using accounts and financial data from NHS regulators from 2016-17 and deducting temporary funding and one-off savings. It found that NHS trusts ended the financial year with an underlying overspend of £3.7bn, much higher than the £791m reported by NHS regulators. Lack of funding to cover inflation means that trusts will need to cut operating costs by 4.3% to meet targets for 2017-18, equivalent to £3.6bn in total savings.

NHS needs extra £350m to cope this winter

The NHS will need an emergency cash injection of £200m-£350m (€218.4m-€382.2m; $260.8m-$456.4m) to manage patient demand this winter, said a report from NHS Providers. Last winter was widely regarded as the worst for the NHS in recent times, and this year’s is predicted to be worse. NHS trusts are not benefiting consistently from the extra £1bn of social care investment announced in the spring budget, and the government’s target to reduce delayed transfers of care to 3.5% in September will be missed, the report said. Meanwhile, demand for emergency care is continuing to rise, shortages of key staff are growing, primary and social care capacity is stretched, and trusts are under greater …

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