A dismal picture of rising pressure on services, failure to meet targets and increasing deficits
In 2018/19 support from central sustainability funding pots has risen to £2.45 billion for providers, and a £400 million fund to support commissioner finances has been created.
Despite this, deficits in NHS providers and CCGs remain stubbornly hard to eliminate, and the latest figures from NHS England and NHS Improvement show that 48% of NHS trusts are forecasting to end the year in deficit and 11 of the 195 CCGs are expecting to overspend their budgets.
The Kings Fund survey confirms that despite this additional funding, tough choices remain for local organisations purchasing NHS care. 47% of CCGs responding to the survey were expecting to delay or cancel planned spending in an attempt to remain within their budgets for this year (Figure 5). CCGs were also planning for longer waiting lists for surgery; stopping routine funding for treatments with limited clinical effectiveness; and increasing the use of eligibility criteria – such as smoking status and body mass index – to determine access to care