Small hospital deficit doubles to over £300m

2 Jun 16

The deficit at small hospitals in England more than doubled in 2015-16 to pass £300m, according to a report by EY.

Research found that the increase from £114.6m in 2014-15 was due to increased demand on smaller hospital trusts, with only one of the small acute hospital trusts with a turnover of less than £200m not in deficit.

Overall, these hospitals accounted for around 12% of the overall £2.45bn NHS provider deficit in 2015-16, despite representing just over 8% of trusts.

The average small hospital deficit is £15.1m or 10.1% of its revenue, with the majority (70%) seeing an in-year deficit increase of between 0.1% and 10%.

Gill Cooksley, executive director in EY’s healthcare team, said: “Never before has there been as much focus on alleviating the NHS deficit. 2015-16 year-end figures show that the majority of NHS trusts are in the red and running at a combined deficit of £2.45bn. This is £461m worse than planned.

“While other providers’ deficits are increasing at a faster rate, small hospitals are still overrepresented in their share of the overall NHS deficit and are bearing the brunt of unsustainable finances,” she added.  

“Small hospitals play an integral role within local communities and if they fail and the services they provide are put into question, the consequences will be more acutely felt by the local patient population.”

Did you enjoy this article?