NHS Improvement has today announced that three more NHS trusts are being put into financial special measures.
We know that trusts meeting their financial plans also provide better quality services to patients
The special measures programme has saved the NHS around £100m since it was introduced eight months ago and is designed to help trusts that are struggling to meet their savings plans.
Trusts in financial special measures receive a package of support from NHS Improvement designed to achieve rapid financial improvement, while maintaining or improving service quality.
As part of the support package, each trust agrees a recovery plan with NHS Improvement. The trusts also get support from, and are held accountable by, a financial improvement director, who is appointed by NHS Improvement.
These are highly-experienced NHS leaders or experts in supporting financial improvement in major organisations.
Two trusts that were in the first group to enter financial special measures last year have already improved enough to exit the programme.
The trusts that will be joining the seven currently in financial special measures are:
- St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust
- University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust
These three trusts have failed to keep up with their agreed control totals, and between them are forecasting a combined deficit of £145m.
The three trusts being put into financial special measures are not on course to meet their savings targets and financial special measures will be an effective way of supporting them to significantly improve
Jim Mackey, chief executive of NHS Improvement, said: “We know patient demand is high and that these are difficult times for the NHS, which is why it is even more important that NHS trusts keep a strong grip on their finances.
“We know that trusts meeting their financial plans also provide better quality services to patients.
“Financial special measures has already saved the NHS around £100m in 2016/17.
“The three trusts being put into financial special measures are not on course to meet their savings targets and financial special measures will be an effective way of supporting them to significantly improve.”
Trusts previously put into financial special measures have benefited from the NHS Improvement support within the programme, in helping them to, among other things:
- Ensure their financial systems and controls operate effectively so that money isn’t being spent without proper checks and controls, including, for example, in the authorisation of agency and locum spend
- Improve efficiency and productivity, including learning lessons from higher-performing trusts
- Improve the way trusts manage their workforce and plan rotas to use their permanent staff most effectively
- Ensure they get paid appropriately for the work they do
The trusts already in financial special measures are: Barts Health NHS Trust; Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust; East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust; East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust; Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust; and North Bristol NHS Trust.
Croydon Health Services NHS Trust and Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which went into financial special measures as part of the first wave in July 2016, exited the regime in February 2017.