NHS watchdogs issue savings advice

11 Mar 16

Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority have announced they are to provide additional financial advice and expertise to hospitals in a bid to tackle the £2.3bn deficit in the health service.

The financial improvement programme launched by the watchdogs today will give NHS providers additional improvement advice and expertise on their finances, including onsite support to help them make savings.

The scheme, which comes after a £2.3bn deficit was reported across the NHS for the first nine months of the financial year, will also set out a programme of ‘quick-wins’ to help achieve immediate savings in 2016/17, and provide help with developing a longer-term plan for delivering recurrent savings.

Once the watchdogs form NHS Improvement from April, the new body will also appoint a dedicated lead to support this programme, and introduce a wider package of NHS peer learning.

Jason Dorsett, director of financial risk and reporting at Monitor, said government had given the NHS an additional £3.8bn, half of which is intended to improve the financial health of the service. Dorsett said the sector now needed to play its part.

“We recognise that some trusts need and would appreciate more help in fixing their finances, and this programme will give them the support they need to make the improvements required,” he added.

Responding to the announcement, Jane Payling, the head of health and integration at CIPFA said any support for providers through the current financial difficulties is welcome.

“Organisations often turn to external consultancy, which is expensive and now subject to the new £50k approval limit,” she highlighted. “Hopefully this programme, that is nationally supported, will not only bring expertise to individual organisations but will help organisations to learn from best practice elsewhere.”

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