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NHS Trusts need to make greater savings


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UPDATED

08 MAY 2019


When it comes to NHS Trusts, there is an acceptance that each one is unique with its pressure and challenges. It would be wrong to place every Trust under the same level of scrutiny and focus, but there is a need for every Trust to deliver results and be productive.

There are calls for a thorough examination of NHS Trusts and why the saving requirements for the 2019/20 year are more significant for some than others. The information offered by NHS Providers, reported and shared by the HSJ, suggests over 10% of Trusts have to make savings of more than 6% of their turnover. One Trust has been reported to require savings of 8%. The average savings requirement is 3.6%

Chris Hopson is the Chief Executive of NHS Providers and he spoke about this issue to the HSJ. Hopson said; “We find it odd that a number of trusts are saying this task is not looking as good as what everyone else is saying. What makes us nervous is some trusts are saying this is just as difficult to deliver as it has always been.”

Some Trusts face large expectations

Mr Hopson continued by saying this matter is vital because the Treasure expects a greater number of Trusts to deliver surpluses in order to show that new money is being used effectively.

A report issued by NHS Providers lists a variety of reasons for the variance, including:

• Increases in funding the Agenda for Change pay
• Market forces factor changing
• Specialist Tariffs changing
• Clinical Commissioning Group Allocations

Mr Hopson spoke further about some of these matters, saying; “What NHS Improvement is saying is that those trusts failed to realise the right level of savings in 2018-19, but the trusts are saying it’s the impact of a number of macro-factors. If the deep dive did genuinely identify that most of the problems are from not realising recurrent saving previously, then we’ve got a difficult argument to make. But if it showed there were a group of trusts adversely affected by the market forces factor then we would need a discussion about what to do about that.”

Understanding of what is required is crucial

It is critical more evidence-based work is carried out to determine what is happening. Results are vital, but there is a need to understand how and why these results have been obtained. If reasoning can be found for positive results and negative results, it becomes much easier to plan work in the future and to feel more confident about achieving better results.
At Atlantis Medical, we appreciate many people are tired of talking about what should be done to save or improve the NHS. There is a need for action, not words, so a lot of people want to see faster and more productive changes. This outcome isn’t always possible, and it is best to not rush into anything. However, if productive changes are possible, it is likely many people will form greater confidence about the future of the NHS and people receiving support and guidance concerning their health.

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