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Region unable to meet NHS budget targets for two years


13 December 2016

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NHS services in a region of England will not be able to meet budget targets set by NHS England for the next two years, according to plans to overhaul healthcare in the area.

Despite plans to close the £584m gap facing Hertfordshire and West Essex, the sustainability and transformation plan (STP) said some of the organisations in the area will not be able to “accept” the control totals set by NHS England in July.

The gap amounts to a total of £93m over the two years, with a £42m deficit in 2017/18 and £51m in 2018/19.

NHS services in a region of England will not be able to meet budget targets set by NHS England for the next two years, according to plans to overhaul healthcare in the area.

Despite plans to close the £584m gap facing Hertfordshire and West Essex, the sustainability and transformation plan (STP) said some of the organisations in the area will not be able to “accept” the control totals set by NHS England in July.

The gap amounts to a total of £93m over the two years, with a £42m deficit in 2017/18 and £51m in 2018/19.

While the document does not specify which organisations will fail to meet their targets, all three acute trusts in the area were running deficits in the second quarter of this financial year.

The document says: “Whilst the current solutions identified would deliver financial balance by 2020/21 they will not be delivered with such an aggressive profile across the years.

“There remains a gap to achieving the aggregate control total as set out in the table below. This means that not all organisations are currently in a position to accept the control totals.”

The plan adds that while the transformation and efficiency initiatives will deliver £452m in savings to balance the NHS budget by 2020/21, social care will still be left with a £101m deficit.

NHS managers are undertaking “further work” to close the gap including “reviewing all planned investments to establish opportunities to defer these”.

But the plan adds that this “could impact on the delivery of some national requirements”.

The scale of the deficit facing social care is such that patients in the area could see “reductions in service”.

A spokeswoman for the STP told The Commissioning Review that the plan “did not achieve financial balance” for the first two years because of a “very difficult starting position.”

She said: “Our STP footprint area includes some organisations which had previously had no formal relationship with each other. 

“Despite this, all of the organisations involved have shown a great deal of commitment to tackling the challenges facing our area.”

She would not comment on which organisations are failing to meet their budget targets.

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