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NHS trusts in England agree 2015-16 tariff but face ongoing budget pressure

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h1338 (Published 10 March 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1338
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

Most NHS trusts have ended their stand-off with NHS England and Monitor over the tariff of national prices to be paid for services for 2015-16. But the “temporary” settlement still leaves deep seated problems in the payment system that threaten NHS stability, leading organisations have said.

Nearly 90% of all NHS providers (210 of 241 trusts) have accepted the enhanced tariff option for 2015-16 proposed by NHS England and the health regulator to enable them to formalise their financial plans. But the other 31 providers, mostly large teaching hospitals and specialist trusts, will stay with the prices that were set for 2014-15 until a new formal tariff for the coming year is established.

NHS Providers, which represents most NHS trusts, predicted that trusts’ deficits would keep rising and that risks to care of patients would remain without reform of the payment system. Chris Hopson, its chief executive, said, “This is a temporary solution to an increasingly difficult problem that genuinely threatens the structural integrity of the NHS.”

NHS England and Monitor issued their revised tariff …

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