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Tough times are likely to persist



 Sue Slipman, chief executive of the Foundation Trust Network said:

“It will be no surprise to our members that the tough times are likely to persist and they will have to face making efficiencies year after year while maintaining their high standards of patient care.
“Monitor’s financial assumptions show that acute trusts are looking at their finances being squeezed by 6.5%  this year and 7% in the following two years. Monitor’s figures are broadly in-line with the information the Foundation Trust Network is receiving from its members.
“NHS savings are supposed to flow-back into patient care but there is still little evidence of where these funds are going. Providers have managed to make extraordinary savings but more and more of the risks in the system are being shifted onto them, while we should be looking at whole-system solutions.
“These figures are not just about acute hospitals. Mental health and community services trusts are also facing a challenging financial future, in particular grappling with how they manage their services in the light of local authority cutbacks.
“While providers have made a sterling job of facing the task posed by the ‘Nicholson Challenge’, these figures which will be used to assess trusts aiming for FT status and for rating investments and proposed transactions by the regulator, they will have a knock-on impact on trusts ability to borrow and provide sustainable innovative ways of working to save money and ensure a quality of patient care does not suffer.”

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