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Financial-Sustainability-of-the-NHS.pdf
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DateNovember 25, 2016
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AuthorNational Audit Office
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In 2015-16, NHS commissioners, NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts reported a combined deficit of £1.85 billion, a greater than three-fold in crease in the deficit position of £574 million reported in 2014-15. Provider trusts’ overall deficit grew by 185% to £2.45 billion, up from £859 million in 2014-15, against total income of £75.97 billion. In addition, two-thirds of NHS trusts (65%) and NHS foundation trusts (66%) reported deficits in 2015-16, up from 44% of NHS trusts and 51% of NHS foundation trusts in the previous financial year. The number of clinical commissioning groups reporting cumulative deficits was 32 in 2015-16, up from 19 in both 2014-15 and 2013-14.

According to the NAO, the NHS entered the current financial year from a worse than expected starting point. This year’s plans were based on trusts ending 2015-16 with a combined deficit of £1.8 billion. The fact that trusts ended the year with an even larger deficit means that they will, overall, need to make more savings than planned to reach the intended starting position. Many of the savings made by NHS England in 2015-16 were one-off in nature.