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NHS providers achieve “the impossible” and cut their deficit by two thirds

BMJ 2017; 357 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j2967 (Published 19 June 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j2967

Hospitals and other NHS providers managed to cut their combined deficit by two thirds, ending the 2016/17 financial year £791m (€903m; $1bn) in the red compared with £2.4bn in 2015/16, official figures show.

Although providers missed their target by £200m, Jim Mackey, chief executive of NHS Improvement, and health secretary Jeremy Hunt praised NHS staff last week at the NHS Confederation conference for achieving “the impossible.”1

The figures published in NHS Improvement’s performance report represent an improvement of £1.7bn this year, driven by savings of over £3.1bn, including over £700m saved on locum and agency staff costs.

The savings were made against a …

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