Responding to NHS Improvement’s Quarter 3 performance figures, Senior Policy Analyst at the Nuffield Trust Sally Gainsbury said:
"Today’s figures show NHS trusts are heading for an overspend this financial year of around £660m. As this figure is after emergency bailouts and one off savings, it suggests that the underlying deficit for hospitals and other NHS healthcare providers in England still stands at around £4bn.
"NHS Improvement are right to say that the new money announced last summer offers trusts a more sustainable future through increases in the payments they receive to treat patients. However these increases close less than half of the underlying £4bn gap between costs and income. The remaining hole of £2bn or more will need to be closed through more cost cuts, and emergency bailouts will have to continue for at least the next three years.
"Those bailouts will come from funds which would otherwise be used to pay for new services and quality improvements, such as addressing the continued increase in waiting times, which the British Social Attitudes survey out today showed was still the top reason for dissatisfaction with the NHS. This means patients will continue to pay a heavy price for the decade long under-funding of NHS trusts which started in 2010."
Notes to editors
You can read NHS Improvement's report on the performance of the NHS provider sector for the quarter ended 31 December 2018 here.