What are the provider deficits for the first quarter of 2018/19?
The provider sector ended the first quarter of 2018/19 with a deficit of £814m ― £22m better than planned at the beginning of the year but £78m worse than the same quarter last year.
The planned deficit for 2018/19 (as of the end of the first quarter) is £519m. This compares with a deficit of £966m at the end of 2017/18.
However, the underlying deficit reported by trusts for the provider sector is £4.3bn gross. This reduces to £1.85bn if the provider sustainability fund (PSF) of £2.45bn, announced earlier this year by the government to encourage trusts to provide sustainable, efficient, effective and economic care, is applied in the future.
NHS Improvement says that work continues to identify savings and incentives to secure a balanced financial position for the NHS in 2018/19. Planned efficiency savings for 2018/19 are set at £3.6bn or 4.1% of total expenditure. Planned savings for quarter 1 were £559m (2.5%). Savings achieved were £495m (2.3%), £64m below plan.
The Carter report has identified possible savings of £5.8bn across specific work programmes. In the first year (2017/18) of the five-year programme, £1.4bn was delivered and in the current year £1.9bn is included in provider plans.
In June this year, the Prime Minister announced a five-year funding settlement for the NHS in England, starting in April 2019. In return, the government asked the NHS to produce a long-term plan by the autumn, setting out ambitions for improvement over the next 10 years.
Gov.uk: Productivity in NHS hospitals
NHS Improvement: Quarterly performance of the NHS provider sector: quarter 1 2018/19