In recent years, the NHS has seen the most sustained period of funding growth ever. But despite the increased funding, the NHS is in deficit.
In 2005/6, NHS trusts overspent by more than £1.2 billion and the NHS as a whole overspent by more than £500 million.
This discussion paper looks at the causes of the NHS deficit in 2005/6.
It then considers three recent policy developments – the 2006/7 system rules, the new payment by results tariffs and the commissioning framework – and asks what the impact of these policy developments could be and how they might be improved.