Our response to Monitor's quarterly report on the performance of NHS foundation trusts

Commenting on the quarterly report on the performance of NHS foundation trusts published by Monitor today, Richard Murray, Director of Policy at The King’s Fund said:

‘The figures published today show that foundation trusts’ financial performance continues to deteriorate, with Monitor expecting an end-of-year deficit of £375 million. The mounting deficits make an NHS overspend this financial year more likely, meaning that the extra funds that the government made available to the health service for the next financial year may be needed to pay off this year’s deficit. If a solution is not found to these mounting financial difficulties, then patients will bear the cost as staff numbers are cut, waiting times rise and quality of care deteriorates.

‘The position in the acute sector continues to be particularly difficult, with nearly three out of four hospitals currently in deficit. The prolonged slowdown in funding that the NHS is facing means that even well managed organisations are struggling to avoid significant deficits. Emergency support is needed for otherwise sound organisations that are running up deficits as a result of the unprecedented pressures on their budget.

‘A new health and social care transformation fund should also be established to meet the cost of essential changes to services. This is a big ask in the current financial climate but the money to do this cannot be found from existing NHS budgets.’

Notes to editors: 

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The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and health care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible care is available to all.