NHS trusts cut overall deficit but remain at “breaking point,” leaders warn

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: (Published 25 August 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4670
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

NHS trusts in England improved their financial position at the end of the first quarter of this year but remain under huge pressure from unprecedented demand, new figures have shown.

The figures, published on 25 August by the regulator NHS Improvement,1 showed that the NHS provider sector recorded a combined deficit of £461m (€540m; $610m) in the first three months of 2016-17, £5m ahead of plan. This compared with a £930m deficit in the same quarter of last year.

But the figures also showed a further sharp increase in demand, particularly at hospital emergency departments, which saw a 6.3% year on year rise in attendances and a 6.4% year on year rise in admissions in the first three months of 2016-17.

The improvement in trusts’ financial position came after …

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