Financial special measures promise significant savings for the NHS

Up to £100 million in savings have been identified at some of England’s most financially troubled hospitals by a programme designed to support NHS trusts rapidly improve their finances.

The financial special measures programme, that we launched as part of the financial reset in July 2016, provides a rapid turnaround package for trusts and foundation trusts which have either not agreed savings targets (also known as control totals), or planned to make savings but deviated significantly from this plan.

The trusts that are already in financial special measures are responding well. It's anticipated that some of these providers will be released from special measures in a few months’ time, when they have demonstrated continued delivery of their plan and key milestones. 

However, in some, further changes are likely to occur. This is true in Bristol, where the STP process is indicating the benefits to service and financial sustainability of developing shared leadership arrangements across the acute providers.

Next steps

Three NHS providers will be joining the five organisations already in financial special measures. These are:

  • East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

These organisations between them are forecasting a deficit of over £73 million and have failed to keep up with their agreed control totals. We recently completed an investigation into financial governance at Gloucester and found very serious failings. 

Jim Mackey, Chief Executive of NHS improvement, said:

“NHS providers all over the country have responded well to the financial challenge, are working flat out to meet growing demand, and continue to provide high quality care in more efficient ways.

“The five trusts who are already in financial special measures have responded well, and we’ve been able to work together to identify around £100 million extra in savings.

“However, the three providers going into financial special measures are causing significant concern. They’ve agreed savings targets locally but are a long way from meeting them."

Barts Health NHS Trust update

At Barts Health NHS Trust, John Bacon will be standing down as Chair. We're grateful to him for taking on such a challenging role over the past 15 months, and for his wider contribution to the NHS. We'll be working with the trust to identify a suitable replacement.  

We're confident that, under the leadership of the chief executive and executive team, the trust can operate more efficiently and deliver high quality care to all patients.

Providers already in financial special measures

The following trusts were put into financial specials measures in July 2016:

  • Barts Health NHS Trust
  • Croydon Health Services NHS Trust
  • Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust
  • Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • North Bristol NHS Trust

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