Medicines regulation and public health should be Brexit priority, warns Wellcome Trust director
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An NHS Providers’ report says the sustainability and transformation fund and control totals have not solved the ‘unsustainability’ of the sector.
It states the £1.8bn STF has ‘masked the underlying financial problems providers face’ and become ‘a key part of provider sector finances’.
The report acknowledges the STF’s role in cutting the provider sector’s financial deficits — from £2.45bn in 2015/16 to £791m in 2016/17 — and stabilising its position.
Recovering provider deficits: has it worked and at what cost? calls on the government to confirm the fund will continue to be paid beyond 2018/19, when the current commitment to pay it runs out. It says continued progress is at risk if the commitment is not made.
Trusts surveyed for the report said:
NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopson said: ‘The STF and control totals are also hiding the underlying financial problems the sector faces. As the Nuffield Trust has recently shown, the real underlying provider sector deficit is closer to £3.7bn… We shouldn’t pretend that providers can keep on realising levels of recurrent savings that no other western health economy has ever consistently realised.’