Department of Health: Securing the Future Financial Sustainability of the NHS, Sixteenth Report of Session 2012-13, Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence

Front Cover
Ensuring a viable financial future for healthcare providers is vital if the public are to have confidence in the delivery of their local services. In 2011-12 NHS organisations in England reported a combined overall surplus of 2.1 billion. There were, however, significant variations in performance between NHS bodies. 377 NHS organisations reported a surplus in the year, but 10 NHS trusts, 21 NHS foundation trusts and three Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) reported a combined deficit of 356 million. Eleven NHS foundation trusts would not have made foundation trust status today given their financial performance, and there is a real concern that some organisations will fail. The very difficult financial situation of some NHS bodies is particularly marked in London, where two trusts reported a combined deficit of 115 million. The Department placed one of these, South London Healthcare NHS Trust, in special administration in July 2012. Also a number of trusts in financial difficulty have PFI contracts with fixed annual charges that are so high the trusts cannot break even. The Department was unable to spell out to the Committee a clear plan to achieve financial sustainability and a clear strategy for dealing with financial failure in individual trusts. The Department could not provide adequate reassurances that financial problems would not damage either the quality of care or equality of access to all citizens, wherever they live.

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