“Alarming” report shows NHS finances are diving into the red

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 11 November 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g6709
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

The NHS in England is on the brink of deficit, and trusts responsible for hospitals and other services are already spending more than they receive from commissioners, says a report published by the National Audit Office.1

It says that the overall NHS surplus has fallen by two thirds in the space of a year, from £2.1bn (€2.7bn; $3.4bn) in 2012-132 to £722m in 2013-14, and that the NHS is forecasting a net deficit of £45m this financial year (2014-15).

In 2013-14 NHS England and clinical commissioning groups had a net surplus of £813m, while provider trusts ended the financial year £91m in deficit. By contrast, in 2012-13 provider trusts returned a surplus of £592m. A deficit was reported at the end of 2013-14 by 82 of the 456 NHS trusts, foundation trusts, and clinical commissioning groups in England. …

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