This site is intended for health professionals only

Read the latest issue online
Climbing the leadership ladder


There’s “no convincing plan” to avoid a ‘black hole’ in NHS finances

There’s “no convincing plan” to avoid a ‘black hole’ in NHS finances

There is “not yet a convincing plan” to avoid a ‘black hole’ in NHS finances, a damning report told the government.

The Public Accounts Committee – which is made up of MPs, and scrutinises the value for money of public spending – released their latest report today.

It read: “There is not yet a convincing plan in place for closing the £22 billion efficiency gap and avoiding a ‘black hole’ in NHS finances.”

The NHS is expected to find £22bn in efficiency savings by 2020-21, but the MPs did not currently believe that would be possible.

“We… have not yet seen the overarching and convincing plan for where and how the £22 billion savings needed by 2020-21 will be made,” the MPs added.

NHS trusts’ and foundation trusts’ finances have deteriorated “at a severe and rapid pace”, the report also concluded, with trusts’ £843 million deficit in 2014-15 representing a “sharp decline from the £91 million deficit reported in 2013-14.”

Moreover, the scathing report said that the government’s 4% efficiency targets for NHS trusts has been both “ineffective” and “caused long-term damage”.

The report stated that the 4% efficiency savings for trusts – more than double the 1-2% efficiency savings that is historic in the NHS – “proved overly ambitious”.

However, the Department of Health told PAC – chaired by Meg Hillier, MP (pictured) – that “some trusts should have even tougher targets placed on them”.

See the full report here

See how our symptom tool can help you make better sense of patient presentations
Click here to search a symptom

Visit Nursing in Practice Reference for details on 140 symptoms, including easily searchable symptoms and categories, offering you a free platform to check symptoms or search by category during a consultation to look for guidance on next steps.

There is “not yet a convincing plan” to avoid a ‘black hole’ in NHS finances, a damning report from MPs stated