NHS financial sustainability
21 January 2019
This is the National Audit Office seventh report on the financial sustainability of the NHS.
In NAO recent reports, in December 2015, November 2016 and January 2018, they concluded that financial problems in the NHS were endemic and that extra in-year cash injections to trusts had been spent on coping with current pressures rather than the transformation required to put the health system on a sustainable footing.
To address this, local partnerships of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts (trusts) and local authorities were set up to develop long-term strategic plans and transform the way services are provided more quickly.
In June 2018, the Prime Minister announced a long-term funding settlement for the NHS, which will see NHS England’s budget rise by an extra £20.5 billion by 2023‑24. Between 2019-20 and 2023-24, this equates to an average annual real-terms increase of 3.4%.
The government asked NHS England to produce a 10-year plan that aims to ensure that this additional funding is well spent. In return for this extra funding, the government has set the NHS five financial tests to show how the NHS will do its part to put the service onto a more sustainable footing.